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Americus-Sumter coaching search heats up

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

AMERICUS -- Former Fort Valley State head football coach Deondri Clark, ex-South Georgia Wildcats assistant head coach Lucious Davis and ex-Americus offensive coordinator Chris Wade are among the candidates who have applied for the vacant head coaching job at Americus-Sumter High School, according records obtained by The Herald on Tuesday.

The position became open when Mark Wilson resigned in December, though a date for selecting finalists and then naming the new head coach is not yet known.

Clark, who resigned as FVSU's coach after the 2008 season with an 19-14 record and remains a professor there, also coached Shaw (N.C.) to a 29-13 record and the 2004 CIAA title. He was also a defensive lineman at Florida State, helping then-coach Bobby Bowden's Seminoles win the first of their 13 consecutive ACC titles in 1992.

As for Davis, it appeared in October that he would remain in arena football. That's because Andre White, who was the original proposed owner for Albany's new arena team, the Albany Panthers, told The Herald at the time that he had reached an agreement with Davis to be both head coach and general manager. But when White had a falling out with the Southern Indoor Football League earlier this month and was cut out of the deal, Atlanta businessman Rod Chappell was named the new owner. And with the SIFL's Panthers holding its first news conference Friday in Albany to discuss, among other items, its coaching situation, it's unclear whether Davis is out of the arena team's fold or will remain as their head coach.

Davis' coaching experience spans both the Wildcats' af2 and the now-defunct AFL serving as a defensive coordinator for Las Vegas. During Davis' one year helping coach the Wildcats, the team finished second place in the American Conference South.

Wade's connection with the high school dates back to when it was known just as Americus High School. Wade was offensive coordinator from 1995-01 and Americus won GHSA Class AA championships those final two seasons under then-head coach Erik Soliday. Wade then worked as South Georgia Tech's men's basketball coach from 2001-06. He was the Jets' first coach and led them to NJCAA Region XVII titles in the 2004-05 and '05-06 campaigns.

Among the other candidates are Elbert County head coach Brent Miller, South Effingham head coach Greg Manior, Mel Mills (Becker College coach Feb. 2006-Nov. 2007), Americus-Sumter offensive coordinator James Alford, Westside, Macon head coach C.B. Comett, Pelham assistant Jackie Duke, Chipley (Fla.) head coach Rob Armstrong and Wilkinson County assistant Travis Carswell.

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CRISP COUNTY COACHING SEARCH UPDATE:

Former Albany State standout and ex-Rams assistant coach Jesse Hicks, who is now Baldwin's head coach, is a finalist for the vacant Crisp County head football coaching position, along with Baker County (Fla.) head coach Bobby Johns.

Hicks coached Baldwin to the 2005 GHSA semifinals and is 70-24 there in eight seasons. At Albany State, he coached linebackers and special teams from 1999-2002. Johns, who is 98-46 in 12 years at Baker County, has 69 wins during the past seven seasons and coached state runner-up teams in 1997 and 2004.