New ECHS football coach could be named Monday

by Chris Goltermann


East Coweta could have a new head football coach as early as Monday after veteran Clint Wade, above, announced he was stepping down last month. 

East Coweta’s football program closes a chapter when it hosts its annual awards banquet today. But another could be ready to begin just as quickly this week. The Coweta County Board of Education will hold a called meeting on Monday to discuss personnel, where it is expected to approve the hiring of the Indians’ next head coach. The job at East Coweta, which came open when Clint Wade recently decided to step aside following 22 years in the program including the last six as head coach, has garnered tremendous interest throughout the state and into the college ranks. Wade, who worked under Danny Cronic as an assistant and defensive coordinator before being promoted in 2007, said he felt the timing was right to “pass the torch” to someone else after leading the Indians to a 38-29 record for a win percentage of .567, a tad lower than Cronic’s .711 (148-60).
The Indians have maintained a streak of state playoff appearances that reached 17 last fall. Wade’s successor looks to equally get East Coweta back over .500 following back-to-back losing seasons, a challenge the program hasn’t faced since 1983. The recent struggles have come as a member of Class AAAAAA in the GHSA’s highest classification. “I feel the football program is headed in the right direction,” Wade said when announcing his decision last month. “I wouldn’t leave it if it were in shambles and I feel comfortable enough to step away and let the next person have at it.” Highest among names rumored with the opening has been Steve Pardue, who led LaGrange to a 161-45 record, including Class AAA state champion- ships in 2001, 2003 and 2004, in 17 seasons before leaving to join friend Joker Phillips as an assistant at the Univer- sity of Kentucky. Phillips was fired following the 2012 season. Pardue recently told the Georgia High School Football Daily that he was looking to return to the high school level. His son, Chas, is a senior baseball player at LaGrange, which also had an opening following the 2013 season. “I miss high school,” Pardue told the GHSF Daily. “I told [Kentucky] when I was there I was a high school coach. I like the lifestyle. I like playing on Friday and watching college football on Saturday. Don’t get me wrong. We had a great time in Kentucky. Lexington is a great place to live. But I want to be a high school coach again. Selfishly I want a chance to win another championship. I want to make another run at one.” East Coweta’s current football staff also includes one of Pardue’s former quarterbacks, J.R. Revere. Pardue, who participated in the long-standing rivalry between LaGrange and Newnan while with the Grangers, went 6-5 in games against the Cougars.

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