One day after Shelton Felton resigned as the Crisp County head football coach to take a job at UT-Chattanooga, the Cougars moved quickly to name his replacement.
Brad Harber will serve as the interim head coach in 2017 after being approved by the Crisp County School Board Tuesday night. The board will re-evaluate the coaching situation after the season.
"I'm excited. It happened super quick, so I'm just blown away," Harber told WALB Sports over the phone.
Harber joined the Crisp County staff in 2016 as the Cougars' offensive line coach. This will be his first head coaching gig after 23 seasons as an assistant.
"I'm just a journeyman who has worked hard everywhere I've been," he says. "I love our players, and I just appreciate Crisp County helping us keep this thing together."
Felton resigned Monday after two seasons in Cordele to take a job on the football staff at UT-Chattanooga. The Crisp County alum led the Cougars to a 16-8 record during his tenure, including a memorable 2016 season that included an undefeated regular season and state semifinal berth.
This edition of the Cougars will feature several returning starters from that 13-1 team, including several being recruited by top college football programs. It's a season of high expectations, which means the pressure is on for Harber.
"He'll either be a hero or everybody will be unhappy. He's willing to rise up and take that chance," says Crisp County High School principal Russell Sowell. "That's the good thing about Brad. He's willing and ready to rise to that challenge, and I think he'll do a great job."
Harber understands what he's stepping into, but feels he was left a great blueprint to follow by Felton.
"Coach Felton left a great groundwork for us. That's a tough act to follow," Harber says. "Our kids are dedicated, and we figured the best thing would be to keep it where they'd be very familiar."
The Cougars have already kicked off summer practice in Cordele. They open the regular season August 18 at Dooly County.
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