Four Former UGA Alums Hired As Georgia High School Head Coaches

Four Former UGA Alums Hired As Georgia High School Head Coaches

Football

Four Former UGA Alums Hired As Georgia High School Head Coaches


The Georgia Bulldogs cast a wide net over the state of Georgia. Dawg coaches visit numerous high school coaches throughout the state and host hundreds of prep coaches in Athens for various clinics.

The prep football talent in Georgia is second to none, and the Bulldogs recruit the Peach State the hardest. Having alums coaching and teaching young men offers a competitive advantage and can have recruiting implications.

Four former Georgia Bulldogs were hired as head coaches in the offseason. They were Robert Edwards (Riverwood), Bruce Adrine (KIPP Atlanta Collegiate), Ronnie Harris (Oglethorpe County) and Damien Gary (Dougherty).

Edwards is the only member of the group with head-coaching experience. They join 20 other University of Georgia graduates who are current Georgia High School head coaches. Following is a brief bio on each of these new coaches.

Robert Edwards was a featured running back at Georgia. He was originally recruited to play cornerback, where he was a starter through his sophomore year. After that season, he was converted to running back. He set a Bulldog record for scoring five touchdowns in one game against South Carolina.

Edwards never finished a full season in college due to knee problems, and missed an entire year due to a broken hand. During his Georgia career, the 1997 grad rushed for 2,033 yards and recorded 30 touchdowns.

Edwards was chosen by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He rushed for 1,115 yards for the Patriots in his rookie season, before blowing out his knee at an NFL rookie flag football game in Hawaii during Pro Bowl week. Edwards barely escaped the injury without having his leg amputated below the knee, and he was told he might not walk again. He came back, played for the Miami Dolphins for a season and starred in the CFL for a few seasons.

Previously, Edwards was the head coach at Greene County, where he led the team to the playoffs in four out of the last six years. Riverwood was 2-8 last season.

Bruce Adrine was a defensive tackle for the Dawgs who graduated in 2003. While at the University of Georgia, Adrine started in 13 of the 26 games he played in during his four years, accumulating career statistics of 67 tackles, five sacks, eight tackles for loss and one fumble recovery. He attended Lakeside High School in Atlanta. Professionally, Adrine played in NFL Europe, for the Georgia Force in the Arena League and was the first Force player to be signed to a free agent NFL contract, when he was inked by the Atlanta Falcons.

Adrine has a challenge in front of him, as the Warriors were 2-7 last season.

Ronnie Harris, a UGA letterman in 1981 and 1982 (he recorded two Dan Marino-tossed interceptions in the 1982 Sugar Bowl against Pittsburgh) has worked in the Oglethorpe County system since 2001, teaching and coaching at the middle school. This will be Harris’ first high school head coaching assignment.

“I’m very excited and I’m very anxious to get started and get to work,” said Harris, 56, a native of San Diego who has also taught and coached in DeKalb and Madison counties. “I came here thinking I could teach at the middle school and coach at the high school, but that didn’t work. Finally the waters parted and made a way for me to do it.”

Turning the Patriots’ football program around will be a tall task. Last fall, Oglethorpe County recorded a 36-34 win over Pinecrest Academy in its last game of the season to claim its first victory since October 2015. The Patriots haven’t recorded a winning campaign since 2005, when they went 6-4.

Damien Gary, is a former Georgia wide receiver and punt returner. He spent the past five seasons on the staff of UNC-Charlotte. He entered coaching as an assistant at his alma mater, Clarke Central (Athens,GA), in 2005. He also has coached at Mars Hill College.

Gary holds Georgia’s career record for punt return yards (1,273). He also caught 131 passes for 1,652 yards and was a key player on the 2002 SEC championship team.

Gary will have his work cut out for him in Albany. Dougherty was 2-9 last season and has not finished with a winning record since 2008.

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