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Puckett stepping down
Jefferson coach Brad Puckett talks with Jackson County coach Lisa Robinson earlier this year.
Puckett stepping down
Wednesday, October 13. 2010
JHS softball coach led Dragons for four seasons
Following an eventful four seasons as Jefferson’s softball coach — including 71 victories and a region title — Brad Puckett has resigned.
The Dragons just completed a 22-9-1 season but failed to reach the state playoffs.
Puckett said he plans to pursue a counseling degree and wouldn’t be able to balance coaching and his teaching duties with his studies. He eventually wants to become a school counselor.
But given what’s coming back next year for Jefferson and his love of the program, the decision to step away required a lot of soul-searching from Puckett.
“It was a really hard decision to come by because I love these kids and I love this program,” he said.
Puckett said he is excited for the program and the direction it’s going. Jefferson loses only three seniors off this year’s 22-win team and has a host of sophomores that will be juniors in 2011.
“That’s tough to walk away from,” Puckett said.
Puckett made the decision a few weeks ago but wanted to wait until the season was over before announcing it.
Jefferson was eliminated from the region tournament Thursday in a 4-2 loss to Fannin County. The Dragons fell one game short of qualifying for the state tournament.
Puckett, who took over in 2007 for Melissa Mullis, said he’d like to get back into coaching eventually but wants to turn his attention to his education right now.
“I feel like God is leading me in another direction,” Puckett said.
Puckett will make at least one more dugout appearance, however.
He has been selected as an assistant coach for the Nov. 6-7 Georgia Dugout Club all-star game. This is a seniors-only game. Puckett said he is “excited and flattered” by the honor.
“That’s going to be my last hurrah,” he said.
Puckett will remain a teacher at Jefferson Middle School.
As for Puckett’s replacement, there’s no timetable right now to name one, according to Jefferson athletic director Tim Corbett.
“We’d like to get one as soon as possible, but we’re going to take our time and explore our options,” he said.
With a struggling economy, there are less teaching slots available now than in the past, so Corbett isn’t sure right now what teaching posts will be available next year.
In the meantime, there are different avenues online that will help get the word out about the job, Corbett said.
Plus the coaching community throughout the state is so close-knit, Corbett suspects the news is already circulating.
“Word spreads pretty doggone fast,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if all of Northeast Georgia knows about it right now.”
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Boys' basketball: Jefferson survives subregion scare
Girls' basketball: JHS hopes to rebound heading into rivalry game
Road trip: Jefferson grapplers to cross state lines for two tourneys
Boys' basketball: JHS rebounds just in time for Commerce
Girls' basketball: JHS takes three-game winning streak into Commerce game
Softball: Resilient Bartek signs with Newberry
Success Story: Perseverance pays off for Jefferson’s Brandon Mosley
Boys' basketball: JHS looks to pick up pace
Girls' basketball: Early season marked by near misses
Girls' basketball: Rachel Goza's 14 points sparks JHS
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