CHATSWORTH, Ga. - Chad Brewer doesn't go into his new job with unrealistic goals or the promise of a quick turnaround. As the next head football coach at one of Georgia's least successful high school programs, the longtime area assistant coach knows what he's getting into.
And he loves it.
Brewer was approved Monday night by the Murray County Board of Education to become the latest coach to try to reinvigorate the Murray County High School program. Instead of turning back the clock, however, the energetic Brewer wants to start with a clean slate.
"Let's forget about 2012 and the recent drought we've been in and concentrate on 2013 and week one against Coahulla Creek," said Brewer, who was the defensive coordinator at Northwest Whitfield last year after spending several seasons in the same position at Southeast Whitfield. "That part is over. There is still a lot of tradition and pride at Murray County, and unfortunately people seemed to have forgotten it."
Brewer inherits a program that went 7-63 the past seven seasons, with two of the wins coming via forfeit. Four head coaches have tried and departed, including longtime coach Bill Napier, who left after an 0-10 season in 2006 when the Indians were forced to play in Georgia's highest classification.
That move and the opening of North Murray High School combined to drag down the once-proud Indians program. Athletes either moved to the new school or transferred out, leaving the Indians with little to work with. Brewer, who spent his first day on the job meeting with high school and middle school athletes, said one of his first jobs is getting kids physically stronger.
"It all starts in the weight room," he said. "We have to get our work ethic in the weight room established. From there we can worry about everything else."
Athletic director Greg Linder, the successful Indians basketball coach, said the school approached this hiring with the idea of finally getting some stability. Linder said he heard nothing but good things about Brewer.
Said Linder in an email correspondence: "After speaking with a large number of references on Coach Brewer, several themes became prevalent: He has the ability to excite and motivate student-athletes; he understands the importance of the middle school and recreation programs; he is a true football coach; he is one of the best teachers, coaches and men I know; he will take your program, and it will grow.
"These were all priorities for the person named as the new head football coach, and Coach Brewer excelled in all areas."
Brewer said he is in the process of getting a staff together and hopes to have that done in time for spring practice in mid-May.