After three seasons, Loganville head football coach Brad Smith is leaving his alma mater to replace recently retired Gary Varner as the Allatoona Football head coach in Cobb County.
Smith went 9-2 in 2022, which included a school record 8-0 start. The biggest of the wins was the season opener where Loganville beat rival Monroe Area 45-39 in four overtimes, in perhaps the greatest game in the longtime series between the two schools. The win included a trick play where the Red Devils completed a backwards pass to tight end Josh Ruder that set up the winning score on a 1-yard run.
Loganville got to host a first round AAAAA playoff game but lost to Dalton 7-3. Smith went 18-14 in three seasons with the Red Devils, but last year’s team improved by five games over a 4-6 mark in 2021.
Loganville athletic director Jeff Segars spoke on Smith’s departure to the AAAAAAA Allatoona program and the start of a search for a new coach.
“He [Smith] pursued the Allatoona (job) and was offered the position a couple of weeks ago,” Segars said. “Obviously we were surprised with him leaving after only being here for three years. We felt like he’d be around a while, especially being from Loganville.”
Smith last publicly spoke in mid-February at the signing of six Red Devil seniors at a signing party for the Red Devils program. Ruder and safety/wide receiver Nico Dowdell signed with Georgia Tech while Walton County Player of the Year Solomon Leslie signed with Valdosta State. Also signing were first team linebacker Jason Eligwe with Shorter University and second team quarterback Johnny Crowe with Pointe University. Also signing was backup running back Mason Lawson with Kentucky State.
Smith’s departure comes in mid-March. The school will have time to get Smith’s replacement before spring practice starts in April.
“No timing is good timing. But a lot of our kids are in other sports,” Segars said. “So much is done over the summer now with 7-on-7 and things like that, so it’s not as big of a deal.”
Segars said the school has talked with the returning members of the Red Devils program. One of Smith’s accomplishments was the roster numbers. Loganville had 108 kids in the program last year.
“We talked to the team and assured them that we’ve done this before and that we’re going to find a good leader to take over,” Segars said. “Right now, we’ve got several assistants organizing things, and the Booster Club is still keeping things going.”
Segars placed out a general timeline.
“We’ve talked to people and have put together a list, whether on staff or not. Our goal is to get somebody in early spring, maybe by the April or May board meeting.”
Sports Editor Jeff Byrd contributed to the report along with the Marietta Daily Journal in Cobb County.
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