BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The search and wait is now over. Fannin County High School has found its new head football coach.
After an announcement came earlier this year that the Rebels head football coach Jim Pavao would be leaving Fannin County to pursue an offer from Coffee County, the search for Fannin County’s next head coach was underway.
Pavao accepted a position with Coffee County as special teams coordinator and will also be focusing on coaching defensive linebackers.
Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney confirmed today that Fannin County had found its new head football coach, Chad Cheatham. Cheatham was officially announced as a school system teaching hire yesterday at a special called Board of Education meeting.
Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi spoke with FetchYourNews about the hiring process. Out of 27 applicants, nine sat with Fannin County School System staff for a first-round interview.
Two of the nine first-round interviewees were called back for a final interview. Cioffi, along with current Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey, David Henson, who will be taking Ramsey’s place as new athletic director for school year 2018-19, and Fannin County High School Assistant Principal Theresa Dillard conducted the final interviews and ultimately decided Cheatham would make a great fit.
“We really enjoyed his enthusiasm and his commitment,” Cioffi said, explaining the decision.
Cioffi added, “He has the energy level and excitement that we were looking to bring to the program.”
Cheatham is no stranger to Fannin County. Having strong ties to our area, Cheatham was a Fannin County High School graduate of 1991.
“Everything just worked out and the timing was right for him (Cheatham) to come back to this area,” Cioffi spoke of Cheatham’s connections with Fannin County.
Cheatham will be leaving Banks County after being named head coach of the Leopards late last year. Cheatham had worked with the Leopards as an assistant coach to the defensive backs prior to the off-season hire decision that made him head coach.
Some of Cheatham’s previous coaching experiences include serving as a head middle school football coach, head track coach, and several coordinator positions at the varsity level. Coaching the Rebels will be Cheatham’s first on-field experience as a varsity head football coach.
Cheatham is expected to be in Fannin County next week to meet with Fannin County High School players and staff.
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