Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Valdosta Prep Job Popular; Dozens Apply for Football Post

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Valdosta Prep Job Popular; Dozens Apply for Football Post

Article excerpt

Byline: Scott Alderman, Times-Union correspondent

VALDOSTA -- Hiring a new football coach might be routine at many high schools, but Valdosta High, which has the most successful program in the country, is hardly most schools.

The 13-person committee selected to find a replacement for Mike O'Brien has met several times and is expected to meet once or twice more before the Jan. 31 application deadline, according to Valdosta City Schools System Superintendent Sam Allen. O'Brien was dismissed as coach and athletic director last month.

"We've already received 39 applications [as of Tuesday], and we expect many more as the process moves on," said Allen, who is chairman of the committee that includes three school board members, three Touchdown Club members, the high school principal, and five at-large community members.

The full school board received an update from Allen on the search at its regular meeting last Monday night. Allen said 20 applications have been from Georgia, several from North Florida, and even a few from as far away as North Carolina and Kansas. Three applicants are from the Valdosta-Lowndes County area, said Allen, who did not disclose their names.

"It's a national search, and we want to find the best person available for the job," Allen said. "Understand that we are first hiring a person who must either be certified to teach in Georgia or become certified."

The job is posted on, the primary site the state of Georgia uses to recruit new teachers, but word of the vacancy spread with little effort by Valdosta officials.

"Everybody knows about that one," said Ray Broadaway, the executive director of the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association, a group that posts all coaching jobs in Georgia. "The word got out in a hurry."

While the job description fills four pages, the primary qualifications are simple, according to Allen. Applicants need to have basic certification requirements for teaching and a minimum of five years of coaching/teaching experience is preferred.

The salary range for the new coach is expected to be between $60,000 and $80,000 per year. …

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