Former Newnan Cougar

Zackery gets 1st head coaching job at Central-Carroll

by Doug Gorman

Former Newnan football player Rico Zackery knew he wanted to be a football coach even when he was still playing the game for the Cougars.

Zackery credits his high school coaches, especially former Newnan head coach Robert Herring, for leading him down that career path.

“He was so influential on me deciding to get into coaching,” Zackery said.

Herring’s passion has rubbed off in a big way for the 2003 Newnan graduate.

Earlier this week, Zackery was named the new head coach at Central-Carroll. Zackery takes over for Grant Chesnut, who has joined Brian Bohannon on Kennesaw State’s first coaching staff as the team’s offensive coordinator. The Owls play their first football games in 2015.

“When coach Chesnut moved on to the college level, that opened the door up for me,” Zackery said. “I am grateful for the chance.”

The former Newnan Cougar, who most recently served as the Lions’ defensive coordinator, is excited about getting the opportunity to run his own program just 10 years after graduating from high school.

“Right now I am really excited,” he said. “Central has a really strong foundation and it is something I look forward to continuing and building on through the years.”

Zackery took his game to the college level after signing a scholarship to play at Georgia Southern where he played safety for the Eagles.

The former Cougar earned a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern in Commercial Recreation and Tourism. He has since added a Masters Degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University.

The Lions’ new coach joined Central in 2011 after working at Colquitt County and Riverside Military Academy.

During the 2010 season, he coached the linebackers at Colquitt County, and helped lead the Packers into the Class AAAAA title game at the Georgia Dome where they lost to Brookwood 52-38.

This past season, Central went 5-6 and made the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 season.

“We just want to continue what we started,” he said.

He admits, upcoming spring practice will be important.

“It vital,” he said. "There will be jobs up for grabs.”

Although Zackery wants to win games and turn the school into a yearly playoff contender, he has some other goals in mind.

“We want to win games of course, but we want to influence and be good role models for our kids too,” he said. “That’s the way it was when I was coming along, and that’s the way I want it to be.”



More Sports

Heard holds off Northgate 6-5

East Coweta hosts Newnan today in region showdown

For the first time in three tries, Heard County finally got the better of a softball opponent from Coweta in a one-run game. But barely. Nor ... Read More


Cross Country

County lineups to go head-to-head in Daley Invitational

The first home varsity cross country meet of the 2014 season is set for Saturday when Northgate hosts the fourth annual Coach Daley Invitati ... Read More


High School Football

Heritage riding high at halfway point of season

It’s only the third week of September, but The Heritage School hits the halfway point of the 2014 season in much better shape spiritua ... Read More


High School Football

Bye week arrives for East Coweta, Newnan

The timing of this week's bye may differ for East Coweta and Newnan football teams, who have taken opposite roads through the start of the 2 ... Read More


High School Football

Central stays unbeaten in weather-delayed 74-point outing

Central Christian's stay in Prattville, Ala. for Friday night's football game was a lot longer than the Crusaders anticipated. But they made ... Read More

Lady Cougars finish 3-1 at Trojan Slam tournament

Newnan posted a 3-1 record in games played Friday and Saturday at the Trojan Slam in Carrollton. After falling to Bremen 5-2 to open the tou ... Read More