Briarwood Academy is looking for a new football coach just days after the Bucs' season ended with a loss to region rival Brentwood Academy.
Skip Griffin, the chairman of the Board of Trustees at Briarwood, said the decision was made Monday to relieve Jimmy Barnett of his coaching duties.
"We love Jimmy and he did a good job for us," Mr. Griffin told The McDuffie Mirror Tuesday evening. "We just felt like we needed to go in a different direction. ... But the kids just love playing for him."
Mr. Barnett took the helm of the Bucs for the 2003 season, leading the team to the region 1-AA title and the AA final four. His teams also made the state playoffs in 2004 and 2005. During his four-year tenure, he compiled a 27-18-1 record, according to stats at briarwoodacademy.com.
Calls to Mr. Barnett's home were not returned Tuesday night.
Mr. Griffin said coaching changes at other schools - like Gatewood and Brentwood - had improved the overall quality of the other teams in the Bucs' region.
"If we are going to compete in our region, we've got to do a better job of preparing," said Mr. Griffin, who's son Davis played on the Bucs varsity team this year.
A search committee - comprised of school trustees, administrators, parents and boosters - has already been formed, and Mr. Griffin said he hopes to have a new head coach in place as soon as possible.
He also said he hopes Mr. Barnett will remain on staff as a physical education teacher.
"You should see him with those kids," Mr. Griffin said. "He's like a big kid himself. Those kids really love him."