Dougherty County athletics committee meets on possible change in coaching interview process

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

ALBANY -- Dougherty County schools assistant coaches may soon have a better chance of earning head-coaching interviews if the board of education approves bonus points for in-house candidates.

Currently, a points formula based on factors such as success on the sideline, awards and recognition is considered. If the candidates' accumulated points are high enough, that qualifies for an interview. This is being discussed while head coaching jobs at Albany and Dougherty are vacant, awaiting replacements to be named. So far, there are four finalists between the two jobs. The finalists, which were first reported by The Herald last Friday, are Strong Rock Christian assistant Johnny Gilbert, former South Effingham head coach Gregory Manior, Telfair County head coach Jeff Bowen and Windsor Forest head coach Michael Martin.

One candidate, former Dougherty star and Georgia Southern All-American Corey Joyner -- brother of ex-Dougherty star and

current Albany State quarterbacks coach Uyl Joyner -- did not accumulate enough points for an interview after serving as the Trojans'

offensive coordinator one season.

As a result of his not being interviewed, three concerned citizens reportedly spoke out against the selection process at Monday night's meeting.

"Here's the bottom line to the whole situation," began athletic committee member Michael Windom. "We had a group of people really angry that wanted a gentleman to have an interview and they were willing to push it. In a sense, he was the people's choice."

The original idea, according to the meeting, was to conduct a national search.

"We needed to do a national search, and if we are doing a national search, what's the purpose of doing a national search if we just give any person an interview just because he's there?" Dougherty County Director of Athletics Johnny Seabrooks said during Wednesday's meeting. "When you tell me to go national and you interview candidates that are not going to match up, you're wasting your interview time."

To which Windom replied: "The last time I checked, Albany was part of the nation."

Bonus points for in-house candidates, according to the meeting, could be as high as three. There also is the possibility that the maximum points earned in two categories -- regional/state awards, and recognition (press coverage, etc.) -- could be increased from one point to four points.

Before any of this goes into effect, it must be approved by the School Board, according to director of human resources Tracy Williams.

Windom also admitted that bonus points still may not guarantee the job.

"I don't think we're doing a disservice because the strongest candidate will rise to the top anyway," Windom said.

After the meeting, Seabrooks said he would do whatever the Board wished.

"I'm going to do what the committee asks me to do," Seabrooks said. "I work for the Board. And if this is what's best for the student-athletes in the Dougherty school system, I support it."

After being asked if bonus points would be added, Seabrooks replied, "I'd say 85 percent a done deal."

Windom agreed, saying, "I do believe they will come away from the meeting, incorporating additional points to the application if they are in-house."

Although Corey Joyner won't get a head coaching job this time around, former Dougherty coach Charles Flowers -- who is retiring from Dougherty after three years as the head football coach and will next take over the program in his native Troup County -- feels Joyner would have been the perfect candidate.

"He is an excellent candidate," Flowers said. "He's a very likable guy and very knowledgeable in the game. He would do good on anybody's staff. The most outstanding thing about him is his genuine concern for the well-being of the kids. I'm not sure why things happen, but I think the players would have really liked him as their head coach."