By Greg Oshust
MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL
MARIETTA — Kennesaw Mountain went down to Southwest Georgia for its new football coach.
Lee County defensive coordinator Andy Scott, who has spent most of his nearly 20-year coaching career in the central and southern parts of the state, will be manning the sidelines for the Mustangs beginning next fall.
The 41-year old Scott replaces Chad McGehee, who stepped down in November after two years at the KMHS helm.
It will be the second head coaching job for Scott, who was the coach and athletic director at Perry from 2005 to ’09.
Scott said he is excited about taking the reins at Kennesaw Mountain and sees potential for success.
“To be honest, I am extremely fortunate to be coming to Kennesaw Mountain,” said Scott, who turns 42 Sunday. “I have been doing some research into Kennesaw Mountain, watching some game film, and I know with the returning players and the returning coaches on staff, there is a lot of promise, so I’m very excited about the opportunity.”
Lee County head coach Dean Fabrizio said that the Trojans’ loss is certainly the Mustangs’ gain.
“We’re sorry to lose him,’’ said Fabrizio, who hired Scott last year to be his defensive coordinator. “He had been a head coach before at Perry, and this a good opportunity for him. We hate to see him go, but we wish him the best. I’m sure he’s going to do a great job at Kennesaw.’’
Of course, Scott’s defense at Kennesaw — which finished 0-10 last season — will have to be better than the one he oversaw in Leesburg if he’s going to have success. Last season, the Trojans (4-6) gave up an average of 28.6 points a game through 10 games — and that’s including the fact Lee’s defense shut out winless programs Baconton Charter and Crawford County in its first two games. After starting 2-0, Lee finished 2-6 as the Trojans’ defense gave up at least 45 points in five of its last eight games.
Fabrizio, who is entering his fourth year at Lee, said he has not yet hired Scott’s replacement but is actively looking.
Scott was defensive coordinator at Lee County for only one season after serving in the same capacity at Walnut Grove under current Campbell coach Harris Rainbow in 2010. Scott’s Southwest Georgia connections started when he worked under Rainbow, who was the former longtime coach at Worth County.
In his first head coaching tenure at Perry, Scott compiled a 27-29 record during his five years at the helm.
Scott, who was an offensive lineman at Warren County High School in Tennessee and on the college level at both Memphis and Middle Tennessee State in the late 80s and early 90s, was a defensive coordinator at Perry from 2001-04 and also served as an assistant at Warren County, Troup County and Coffee County.
Scott faces a challenge in turning around the fortunes of a Kennesaw Mountain program that has had three losing seasons in a row.
However, he believes that the ingredients are in place to establish a winning tradition at KMHS.
“The biggest thing I’ve noticed is there are a good group of kids there,” Scott said. “One thing I want to bring to the team is a sense of family and a discipline that we will show every Friday night. I know that there is a strong tie between the community and Kennesaw Mountain and there are a lot of positive things here that will allow us to be successful. There are so many things to tap into here, so I think this is a great job.”
Scott will install a spread option offense, similar to the one used by Georgia Tech, and a 3-3 stack defense.
Albany Herald sports editor Danny Aller and high school beat writer Mike Phillips contributed to this report