Tomberlin let go at Valdosta - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tomberlin let go at Valdosta

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By Robert Hydrick - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -  Four days after Valdosta High suffered a 57-13 defeat to cross-town rival Lowndes,  Wildcats head coach Rick Tomberlin was fired.

Tomberlin will coach the Wildcats through the end of the season.

The coach told WALB News 10 Sports Tuesday evening he was notified of the decision at a meeting earlier in the day.

Tomberlin then told his team at practice he would not be back next season.

Valdosta has a bye week this week.

Tomberlin says in his four seasons he has raised the academic standing of the football team, won two state weightlifting championships but the bottom line was he didn't win enough football games and that Tombelrin said is what it is all about.

Tomberlin also added Valdosta High is playing at a disadvantage with an enrollment of roughly 1700 students.

A figure he says qualifies the Wildcats to play down at the AAAA level.

Rick Tomberlin took the Valdosta High job in 2006 and in three plus seasons is 19-20 with the Wildcats.

After a 1-9 season his first year, Valdosta was 8-2 in 2007 and made it to the second round of the state playoffs.

The Wildcats missed the postseason last year.

Valdosta is 4-3 after the Lowndes loss.

If the Wildcats win their final three games against the three teams at the bottom of the Region 1-AAAAA standings, the Wildcats will make the state playoffs.

Rick Tomberlin has won 219 games in his high school coaching career that began in 1983 at Treutlen High in Soperton.

He later went to Jenkins High in Savannah and Jonesboro.

He was hired at Lowndes in 1989 and was fired after taking a team that was 2-8 his first season and post a 7-3 record in 1991.

Tomberlin landed at Washington County where he built the Golden Hawks program into one of the top programs in the state in the 1990's.

Washington County won three AA state titles posting 15-0 records in all three of those seasons and they were state runner-up in two other years.

Rick Tomberlin is the third Valdosta High head coach to be let go in the last seven years.

Mike O'Brien, who won 77 games and a state title at Valdosta, was fired by the city school board after the 2002 season.

He is now at Woodstock where the Wolverines are 5-1 this season and lost to AAAAA state champion Camden County in the quarterfinals last year in Kingsland.

Rick Darlington was hired in 2003 and led the Wildcats to the AAAAA state championship game in his first season when the Wildcats lost to Camden County.

Darlington resigned under pressure after the 2005 season.

Valdosta High's next game is October 23rd at Coffee High in Douglas.

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