It's official: Briarwood Academy's embattled head football coach is no longer in the picture at the private school, The McDuffie Mirror has learned.
Blake Duncan, who had been hired last spring to become this year's new head football coach of the Buccaneers, resigned his position during a meeting Monday afternoon with school board trustees, according to Chairman David Joesbury.
"He (Blake Duncan) verbally tenured his resignation, saying he felt it in the best interest of himself and the school," Mr. Joesbury said.
The resignation was accepted unanimously by eight of the nine school board trustees who attended the meeting, Mr. Joesbury said.
"We certainly wish Mr. Duncan well in his future endeavors," the trustees chairman added.
Mr. Duncan, who was reached by the newspaper later Monday night, confirmed his resignation from the school as both a coach and a health teacher.
"Putting it simply, it just wasn't working out," Mr. Duncan told the newspaper in an exclusive interview. "I simply felt it best to get out of the way. We (himself and school officials) came to a mutual understanding about that."
Mr. Duncan, who was placed on administrative leave with pay pending a review of undisclosed issues following the Thomas Jefferson Academy game more than two weeks ago, refused to go into specifics about reasons for his suspension. Mr. Joesbury refused to discuss the matter either, saying it was considered a personnel matter.
"I'm disappointed it didn't work out and I'm sure that Briarwood people are disappointed it didn't work out," Mr. Duncan said. "Sometimes it works out for coaches and sometimes it doesn't. I just felt it was time for Blake Duncan to move on and for Briarwood Academy to move on."
Mr. Duncan, who lives in Augusta, said he plans to contact principals and coaches around Georgia before deciding what he will do in the future.
Asked if he'd stay in coaching circles, Mr. Duncan replied, "It's all I've ever done."
Mr. Joesbury said the school's current two assistant football coaches, Josh Morey, the team's defensive coordinator and Bo Fleming, will continue to share head coaching duties for the remainder of the season.
The program also will be overseen by Briarwood Athletic Director Clayton Parrish.
At the end of the football season, a search committee is expected to be formed at the school to find a new head football coach, Mr. Joesbury said.