Posted: Monday, March 11th 2013 at 11:39pm
Pollock named HCHS head football coach
By Rob Moore Editor
Newly-named Habersham Central High School Raiders Head Coach Michael Pollock speaks to those in attendance at Monday night's board of education meeting. (Photo/Rob Moore)
CLARKESVILLE – The Habersham County Board of Education has named Michael Pollock of Sumter County as head football coach at Habersham Central High School.
A 5-0 vote at Monday night’s board meeting cleared the way for hiring Pollock, who has a 36-17 overall record and a 21-6 region record as head football coach. Pollock’s coaching history includes 16 total state playoff appearances, and he has never had a losing record as a head coach.
A graduate of Mitchell-Baker High School in Camilla, he lettered in football and baseball and graduated fourth in his class.
“He’s a smart football coach,” said Superintendent Matthew Cooper. “You don’t meet many head football coaches who graduated fourth in their class.”
Pollock played football at the University of Georgia as a walk-on, before graduating UGA with a bachelor’s degree in math education.
Pollock went on to receive a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Scranton.
“While head coach at Cook County, his team played in the Georgia Dome in the state semi-finals,” Cooper said. “They had the No. 1 scoring offense that year in all classifications in Georgia. His defense was the No. 1 scoring defense in AA that year.”
Habersham Central High School Principal Jim Van Hooser explained the process he, Athletic Director Amy Hood, and Cooper went through to make their selection.
“We wanted somebody that could motivate people, that could motivate the kids and the community – most of all who was passionate about football, loved what they were doing for a living, that had drive,” Van Hooser said.
Other characteristics in the selection, Van Hooser said, included:
• “Somebody that would make our players winners through toughness and strength, because that’s what we have to do to win,” Van Hooser said.
• Someone with high expectations for players and behavior.
• Someone who has class and expects his kids to have class.
• Someone who is involved in his players’ lives.
• Someone who is involved in the recruiting process.
• Someone who will grow a program and has a plan for developing a program approach at all levels, including the rec department and middle schools.
“We were told to look for someone who’s not afraid to be in AAAAAA, but who is excited about the challenge,” Van Hooser said. “In the times that we’ve
had discussions with him, I’ve learned something new every time that makes me know that we’ve found the guy. I’m as excited as I can be to introduce our new head football coach.”
Cooper said a lot of people in the community have prayed that the right person would be selected.
“Coach, we believe the Lord sent you to us,” Cooper said. “We know you’ll need His help in the work that you’re about to do.”
After receiving a gift basket from Van Hooser, Pollock addressed the crowd.
“The Lord works in mysterious ways, and I feel like he started working on me several years ago about coming here,” Pollock said. “Out of nowhere, I had a discussion with a great, great football coach in this state that I haven’t worked for, but he and I are good friends.”
That coach highly recommended Habersham Central High School to Pollock several years ago, but Pollock said the timing hasn’t been right until now.
He said the program will see changes, including players wearing a coat and tie to school on game Fridays.
"I do feel like we have a plan that's second to none when it comes to preparing young men and the football program for success on Friday night," Pollock said. "We're going to work 'em hard and we're going to love on 'em, but we're going to work 'em hard."
Pollock also has coached three state champion weightlifting teams.
He is married to Shannon Pollock, who is a dental hygienist, and they have five children.
Pollock is a member of Central Baptist Church in Americus, and also a member of the Americus Rotary Club.
He replaces former head coach Stuart Cunningham, who stepped down earlier this year after four years in the position.
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