Conyers CONYERS — The coaching search is on for Heritage High School. Chad Frazier, one of the most successful football coaches in the school’s history, accepted the head football coach and athletic director jobs at Villa Rica High School in Carroll County, the Citizen learned Friday.
Frazier, 40, was 37-27 in six seasons at Heritage. He guided the Patriots to three consecutive state playoff appearances, including the program’s first-ever region championship in 2011.
“He meant a lot to our football team,” said Heritage athletic director Chuck Landy, who hired Frazier six years ago. “He just did so much for the students here. The football players, yes, but the day-to-day things Chad did with the kids at school, Chad just set a good example every day. The biggest thing, he was a good person. He came to school and worked hard and showed people the right way to do things.”
Last season, Heritage finished 8-3, losing to Allatoona in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs.
The Patriots went just 12-18 in Frazier’s first three seasons, then the 2010 team finished 7-4, including a first-round loss to Marist. It all came together in 2011 as Heritage started 7-0 and won a three-way tie to capture the school’s first region title. After a thrilling, double-overtime victory over Rome in the first round of the playoffs, the Patriots’ season ended in a second-round loss to Ware County.
Frazier’s teams went 4-2 against both Salem and Rockdale, including 6-0 against the county rivals the last three seasons.
“Winning a region championship, setting some personal goals and doing some really good things in the community, we had almost 60 scholar athletes recognized at our banquet,” Frazier said. “Those are the things I’m proud (of) — the success on the field, but (also) in the classroom.
Villa Rica, also a Class AAAAA team, was 10-10 in two seasons under Mike Falleur and is trying to get back to the state playoffs for the first time since 2008. Frazier, who lives approximately 30 miles from the school in Newnan, said that and his relationship with Villa Rica principal Adam Herring were big factors in making the move.
“I’m friends with (Herring), so I know how important it is to work with somebody you have a relationship with,” Frazier said. “That was important when I went to Heritage. I didn’t know much about it, but I quickly learned how important it is to have that. That, coupled with a chance to be an athletic director, that’s sort of a position I’ve always inspired to hold. My daughter moving into middle school, it was just good timing to take advantage of this opportunity.
“It’s a school that’s on the cusp of being very successful. Their athletic programs have sort of been ... sort of average, and I think they have a chance to be great. I just feel like with a little different leadership they might have a chance to succeed. It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be a challenge, but certainly one I’m looking forward to.”
Landy said Heritage doesn’t have a new head football coach in mind but will interview candidates over the next two weeks.
“We have a plan, but we do not know who our next coach will be,” Landy said. “We’re just looking for the very best person for this school. Chad wasn’t a head coach when he came here. We thought highly of him when we interviewed him six years ago. He was just somebody who worked hard, climbed the ladder ... we knew he was a good human being.
“It happened fast, this whole thing, it happened quick. We’re very sorry to lose Chad, but at the same time it was just too good of an opportunity: too close to home, a chance to be an athletic director. He just need to do it for his family. We love (Frazier) and we wish him the very best.”