The football power pendulum just swung more toward the north in Oconee County as Prince Avenue Christian School is expected to announce the hiring and homecoming return of local coaching legend Jeff Herron Wednesday morning, according to multiple reliable sources familiar with the process.
Herron started coaching locally at Cedar Shoals and won the only state football title at Oconee County High School in an undefeated season in 1999. He has had three subsequent perfect seasons and built Camden County into a legitimate state title contender almost every season of the last 15 years, and won multiple state titles in the biggest high school division out of Region 1-AAAAA. He has two stints in Cobb County schools and is one of the few coaches I have ever encountered who is/was truly beloved at every school he worked at. He is a native of Virginia and went to college at Tennessee Tech and Emory and Henry.
This should more than push Prince Avenue Christian Wolverines past the private school title game level they reached this past season, replacing Mark Farriba who left unexpectedly a few weeks ago for his alma mater in Macon. I would imagine the football coaches' jobs at Athens Academy and Athens Christian just got a whole lot more difficult in the next couple of region schedules. The Wolverines have been highly competitive for at least three seasons in Region 8A football, even before the recent split to private school playoffs.
Herron was reported by at least one source to be earning close to $100,000 annually at Camden, but I can tell this, if you want a successful high school football program, he is well worth every penny. Now the annual tuition of Prince Avenue might increase a wee bit, but I seriously doubt many people will be complaining. He is the third winningest active high school football coach in Georgia right now.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Todd Holcomb wrote in 2008 about how Herron turned Kingsland, Georgia into a perennial football powerhouse with amenities that only rival the University of Georgia.
As recently as 2002 he though he thought his best was not good enough in this well done piece by former 960 the Ref contributor John DuPont. I welcome Coach Herron back to Bogart and Prince Avenue Christian School Wolverines.
The story behind the hiring has proven to be equally compelling. Herron has a daughter expecting a child in the area already living around here, and he wanted to retire from public schools on his thirtieth anniversary complete with a 60% pension of that healthy annual salary to the first two seasons of employment at Prince Avenue Christian.