Monroe girls coach Cheryl Cheeks meets with her players during a game this season. The longtime coach resigned but will continue to teach. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
ALBANY — Monroe High School girls basketball coach Cheryl Cheeks has resigned but will continue to teach, The Herald learned on Monday.
Cheeks’ position as well as the boys basketball coach at Dougherty were two job positions that were posted on the Dougherty County School System website late Friday afternoon.
The longtime coach cited personal reasons as her reason for stepping aside. She will continue to teach health and physical education at the school.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” she said. “I felt like I needed to dedicate more time to other things than just basketball.”
Cheeks helped lead Monroe to the Region 1-AAAA championship, a 25-5 record and a berth in the state quarterfinals this past season. The bulk of that team returns, including Region 1 Player of the Year and Herald Super 6er Key Key Price.
“I understand that, but whomever comes in can make the program better,” she said.
Dougherty County Athletics Director Johnny Seabrooks said Cheeks turned in a resignation letter last May, but with newly hired principal Vincent Davis taking over at Monroe she was asked to continue coaching in order to make a smoother transition for the administration.
“She actually turned in a letter at the end of school last year,” Seabrooks said. “But the timing of that as well as a new administration coming in, she was asked to remain until a new coach could be put into place.”
Seabrooks said the two openings will be posted for 10 days.
Davis said he hates to see Cheeks step down.
“She has been an asset to the entire Albany community,” he said. “The entire community is fortunate to have such a caring student-athlete first, then a caring head coach who has given so much. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with her. I know she is still going to do a lot of great things. She is a jewel to have.”
The Dougherty boys position has been vacant since former coach and athletic director Donald Poole announced his retirement at the end of December. Assistant coach Ty Hayes was named the interim coach and finished the season and is a leading candidate for the permanent head coaching job.
The two vacancies are sure to draw heavy interest across Southwest Georgia.