Thompson leaving Calera for Georgia job

Published 1:49 pm Friday, February 13, 2009

Calera head football coach Mac Thompson resigned this week after three seasons to take the head coaching position at Cook High School in Adel, Ga.

“We wanted to come in and take the football program to a new level, and I think we accomplished that,” Thompson said of his time at Calera. “Mr. (Richard) Bishop’s a quality principal and he’ll make sure they get the right guy for the kids.”

Thompson, who was 28-9 in three seasons at Calera, was approved by the Cook County Board of Education Feb. 8 to replace retired coach James Scroggins, according to Cook principal Jute Wilson. He was one of eight finalists from an initial pool of over 100 applicants.

“Mac had excellent references and time after time people spoke of two things of what a good coach he was and what a good person he was,” Wilson said. “He really stood out … I think he’s a heck of football coach.”

Thompson will begin his new position March 1 as Cook High prepares to move into a new $33 million school in May. Cook is a Class AA football program with 900 students enrolled at the school. Currently the seveth-winningest program in Georgia since 2000, the Cook Hornets have appeared in the playoffs the last nine seasons, including three semifinals.

“It’s more of a traditional football school,” Thompson said. “It’s going to be a transition moving them from a wing-T into the traditional spread that we run.”

The move will be a $23,000-$25,000 increase in pay, according to Thompson. That, along with getting his children in the Georgia school system for the Hope scholarship, is what helped lead to his decision to leave.

“We’d like to wish Coach Thompson well. He did an outstanding job with three very solid seasons,” Bishop said. “Our kids really thrived and enjoyed the spread offense that Coach Thompson employed.”

Bishop said a lot of players have asked if Calera will hire a spread offense coach. He said the search will not be limited. Bishop received 10 inquiries within the first two days after Thompson’s resignation and hopes to have the new coach in place by the end of April or early May.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for someone. We have a lot of talented athletes,” Bishop said.

Prior to coaching at Calera, Thompson was an assistant at Hoover, offensive coordinator at Pelham, running backs coach at Bob Jones, head coach at Ider and assistant at West Blocton. He and his wife have four boys, ages 13, 12, 10 and 7.