ALBANY — Every sign and every indication point to Corey Joyner as the next head football coach at Dougherty High School.
Multiple sources have told The Herald that Joyner, who is currently an assistant coach with Dougherty, will be the next coach for the Trojans, and that announcement could come as early as tonight at the Dougherty County School Board meeting.
Nothing is currently listed on tonight's agenda to name a new coach, but Joyner has emerged ahead of the field and sources say it's just a matter of time before he is officially named to the position.
The search to replace Jesse Hicks, who resigned Feb. 16 to take a job at Central Macon High School, has been going for almost three months, and Dougherty was without a head football coach during the recent spring practice drills.
A seven-member committee interviewed 12 candidates, including two local assistant coaches and three candidates from outside of Georgia. Joyner was the last candidate to be interviewed and is a local favorite to get the position.
He interviewed for the job three years ago when Hicks was hired. Players, fans and members of the community were upset at the time because Joyner wasn't hired and wanted him to get the job.
Hicks, however, came with a glowing resume'. He was an Albany State graduate who had taken over a mediocre program at Baldwin and turned it into a powerhouse and a regular in the state playoffs.
The hope at the time was that he could do the same for Dougherty, which had fallen upon hard times on the gridiron.
Hicks came with a promise to turn the program around and get more community involvement to spark more pride in the football team.
He left the program after two long seasons and a 3-17 record. The Trojans won just one game last season and in Hicks' two years, Dougherty lost every game to city rivals from Monroe, Westover and Albany.
Joyner was a star at Dougherty and later became an All-American at Georgia Southern. His brother, Uyl Joyner, is the offensive coordinator at Albany State.
Joyner and Albany High defensive coordinator Mitchell Jenkins were the only local coaches who interviewed for the job, sources said.
There was speculation earlier that the job would be given to either Johnny Reynolds, a former Monroe assistant coach who has head coaching experience at McNair High School in the Atlanta area, or to Bainbridge offensive coordinator Leonard Guiton, who has been in that position for three years at Bainbridge. He had held the same position at Thomas County Central and came to Bainbridge when head coach Ed Pilcher made the move. Pilcher and Guiton run the veer offense.
According to sources, Reynolds, Guiton and Joyner were all impressive in the interview process.
Joyner is a former player at Dougherty and longtime assistant coach for the Trojans who knows the players and also knows what Dougherty faces as the program tries to work its way back to prominence.
Dougherty is the only public school in Albany to win a state football title in the modern era, which came in 1998.