Southwest Georgia Academy head football coach Brent Miller has resigned, just days before the Warriors open the state playoffs.
SGA headmaster Matt Dalrymple tells Miller resigned Monday.
"He decided it was in his best interest," Dalrymple says.
It's been an interesting week to say the least for the Warriors, who play at Flint River Academy in the first round of the GISA AA State Playoffs Friday.
But acting head coach Eric Thomas says practice has gone as usual as possible for his team.
"When these kinds of things happen, you just have to stay committed and keep your focus on your family," says Thomas, who joined the team as an assistant this season. "This football team's our family."
"It's actually been a pretty good thing for us," says senior tight end Davis Ponder. "We got some intensity back and everyone wants to win this game real bad."
Thomas says he was called into the office Monday and told he was now the head coach.
He says he and the team didn't really have much time to let the news sink in, and he thinks that may be a good thing.
"To be honest with you, we didn't have much time to respond," he says. "Our focus is on the team and the game Friday. Really and honestly, we just came right on out to practice and went to work."
Ponder says the team is motivated to show that they can push through adversity, and adds Miller's resignation has added a little chip on the team's shoulder.
"What would you say to [Coach Miller]?" asks WALB Sports' Jake Wallace.
"We can do it," Ponder responded. "We can do it without him."
Thomas had a different response.
"I don't think I'd say anything to him," he says. "I have a football team here that's counting on me, and I've got a game to play Friday night. So I didn't dwell on Coach Miller very long."
Sources tell WALB Miller resigned over an internal dispute with administration.
Our attempts to speak with Miller were declined by his wife, who also confirmed her husband was no longer coaching the Warriors.
Miller was named head coach in April, and was 6-5 in his only season with SGA.
Dalrymple says the school isn't sure what it will do for a permanent head coach.
"We'll probably wait until the end of the year, and handle it then," he says.
Dalrymple commends the players for how they have handled a tough situation.
"I hate that it happened," he says. "But our boys have really stepped up. They've done it with class."
Thomas adds he's proud of how his team has responded, and feels they've learned some lessons through it.
"A lot of times in life, you have distractions and change. These guys on this team, especially the seniors, they have a lot of class and a lot of character," says Thomas. We just overcame this week, came out here and they did everything I asked them to do. They're working hard. They're pumped up, and fired up about this game."
The Warriors, under Thomas, will kick off against Flint River Friday night at 7:30.
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