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VARNELL, Ga. — Caleb Bagley promises his new employer only one thing.

As the third head football coach at Coahulla Creek High School and a veteran assistant coach in the area, Bagley understands the challenges he's taking on at a program that is 6-44 all time. There won't be any quick fixes or elaborate schemes.

"You can't just come in and say we're going to work hard, because everybody works hard," said Bagley, who was the offensive coordinator this past season at North Murray.

'"You have to work hard with a plan and a purpose. I'm not going to predict we'll win so many games this year and so many the next season. What we will do is develop our players, and hopefully they can take us to the next level."

Bagley was announced Friday as the successor to Chad Barger at the Whitfield County school. Barger resigned midway through what turned out to be the program's second winless season in the last three years.

What separated Bagley from the 50 or so other applicants, according to school principal Tracy Mardis, was the relationship goals he has for his athletes.

"He's a high-energy guy who knows a lot about football," Mardis said. "He loves the game and loves the kids. He coaches them hard and he loves them even harder, and that's what these kids need."

Bagley played for Bill Napier at Murray County before playing and graduating from Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala. He has been an assistant coach at Northwest Whitfield, Southeast Whitfield and Gilmer County in addition to North Murray, where he was part of the program's first playoff season.

Bagley believes that experience, and its variety, will benefit him in his first head coaching opportunity.

"Everywhere I've been, from starting out as a position coach to a coordinator, I've tried to learn from the guys I've worked under," he said. "I've been blessed to learn from some of the best, and I've seen see how those guys handle certain situations."

The situation he soon will oversee is, he understands, one accustomed to losing and change. The new coach has every intention of changing all that.

"They've had some rough times here, but I see this as a place to build something from the ground up," he said. "Since the school has opened they've had some changes in administration and in the athletic director positions. I feel this is a really good time to get things going in the right direction."

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6296; follow on Twitter @youngsports22

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