East Coweta gets new coach, principal

Thu, 04/17/2008 - 3:04pm
By: Kevin Wandra

East Coweta gets new coach, principal

East Coweta’s search for a new head football coach is over.

The school has decided to hire someone who is familiar to many people in Coweta County, particularly at East Coweta — Clint Wade.

Wade, who has worked under recently retired East Coweta head coach Danny Cronic as an assistant head coach the last 15 seasons, was officially named East Coweta’s new head football coach Tuesday night at the Coweta County Board of Education meeting.

Wade was introduced to the media at a press conference held Wednesday morning at East Coweta’s gym.

It’s the first head coaching job for Wade, who has been an assistant coach for all 25 years of his coaching career, which includes jobs with Mary Persons and Newnan.

Wade’s late father Don Wade was head coach for Tennessee Tech, and a former Clemson player and coach. Wade began his career under his father’s tutelage before moving to Mary Parsons and then Coweta County.

Wade was hired away from Newnan, East Coweta’s biggest rival, by Cronic in 1992 to serve as the Indians’ defensive coordinator. During his time as the Indians’ assistant head coach/ defensive coordinator, East Coweta experienced immense success, winning at least six games every season.

Wade has some huge shoes to fill; Cronic had a long, distinguished career at East Coweta, leading the Indians to a 148-60 (.712) overall record in 18 seasons as the school’s head football coach, easily earning the status as the winningest coach in school history.

Cronic’s impressive tenure at East Coweta included leading his teams to the playoffs in 16 of the 18 seasons, including the last 11 consecutive years; three undefeated regular seasons (1998, 2000, 2001); a 28-game regular-season inning streak from 1999-2001; a record of 78-20 (.796) at East Coweta’s home stadium, Garland Shoemake; and a trip to the semifinals in the Georgia Dome in 2002.

Perhaps most impressive is that Cronic never had a losing season at East Coweta.

East Coweta finished this past season 10-2 — the 10 victories were the third-most for an Indians team in school history —and the season included a nine-game winning streak, the fourth longest in school history.

In a phone interview with The Citizen following his retirement press conference, Cronic said, “I recommended Coach Wade” [for the job]. I think he would be the front-runner for the job.”

Along with approving Wade as the new head coach, the Coweta County School Board approved several major administrative appointments at its April 16 regular meeting, upon recommendations by Superintendent Blake Bass.

Rick Waggoner was named as the principal of East Coweta High School, starting in July, 2008, Katie Garrett was named as the new principal of Grantville Elementary School, and Christi Hildebrand was named School Improvement and Testing Coordinator for the school system. All will begin their new duties officially on July 1, 2008, though Wade will begin leadership of the Indians immediately.Rick Waggoner – who is currently the principal at Arnall Middle School – will become East Coweta High’s new principal for the 2008-09 school year. Principal Derek Pitts is transferring to become the principal of the Middle School Alternative School program, and will create and lead the new program for the Coweta County School System.

The program will be geared toward meeting the specific educational needs of middle school students in the alternative education program, which currently serves mostly high-school-aged students at present.

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