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New Southland boys hoops coach backs out of job

Rick Scruggs takes over for Ernest Scott and brings a wealth of experience to the Raiders' boys  hoops program.

Rick Scruggs takes over for Ernest Scott and brings a wealth of experience to the Raiders' boys hoops program.

AMERICUS -- Not even a month after hiring a new boys basketball coach, Southland Academy is searching again.

Assistant headmaster and athletic director Clint Humphrey said this week that Rick Scruggs will not be coming to Americus because of reasons beyond his control.

Scruggs did sign a contract. Humphrey said the set of circumstances surrounding the situation are unfortunate.

"We were looking forward to having him," Humphrey said. "He was just not able to make that transition for housing and just some personal things he had didn't allow him to make the move. He was unable to fulfill that obligation, and we're back to square one looking for a boys basketball coach."

Scruggs was set to replace Ernest Scott, who left this summer for Jasper County after spending nine seasons leading the Raiders.

Scruggs spent last year as associate head coach at Appalachian State. Prior to that, he coached Gardner Webb for 15 years, leading the program from NCAA Division II to Division I status.

An East Point native and Georgia graduate, Scruggs stated after taking the job that he wanted to be closer to his father in Peachtree City and be a head coach again.

Southland hasn't had much success in the postseason since the 2006-07 season when it lost to North Cobb Christian in the GISA AAA championship.

Humphrey said the physical education classes are covered, but the school hopes to have a hire as soon as possible.

"Mr. (Billy) Stubbs is working on that," he said. "We're reviewing names and going back to our list of potential candidates who might be a viable candidate. It's late in the game, so it's not an easy thing for us to do. We've made some adjustments to cover the academic classroom (situation) in P.E., so that buys us a little time. They'll want to begin (basketball) sometime in October, so we are in a crunch.

"There's no hard feelings. We wish the best for him where he's at. We know the right person for us will surface eventually."