MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Coach Larry Harold’s time at Central High School lasted just one season.
The former Macon County football coach, who led the Bulldogs from 2012 to 2014 and the Brunswick Pirates in 2015 and 2016, is leaving after a 2-7 season with the Chargers to take the head coaching job at Americus-Sumter.
He was approved as the new coach at the Sumter County school board meeting last week.
“First of all it was a really tough decision,” he said Thursday in an interview at 41NBC. “It wasn’t even an opportunity I was seeking. I got here and really enjoyed myself and the opportunity (principal) Mr. (Emanuel) Frazier gave me. I moved here to be here for the long haul, but God had different plans. It was my plan to be here to try to build something special with a real good JV group, but there’s some things that come along, and I have visions, I have goals. This Americus job was one of them.”
Harold called the Americus job one of the best in Georgia and said it was an offer he couldn’t turn down.
“This will be the first program that I’ve ever taken over that’s had great success,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting to be able to start off as a region champion and try to build it. Our goal is to win the state championship. There’s a lot of things I’ve been able to do in my career and that’s not one of them. I want to do it. I want to win a state title, and I think I with the resources, the administrative support, the board of education support down there and the athletes, I think I’ll be able to do that.”
Harold described his one season in Macon as “difficult.”
“But I think we did some good things,” he says. “(We) had a big class that graduated, even had a chance to make the playoffs. (We) had a rigorous off-season conditioning program going, bought some equipment for the weight room and some different things for next year, so the next person that comes in should definitely be able to hit the ground running.”
The next coach will be the Chargers’ third in three years.
“Like I told the kids, it’s life,” he said. “When I lost my mother–it’s hard to lose people, but it teaches you how to deal with life. You lose people, you move on, but those relationships will last forever. Those relationships and memories will last forever and I hope there’s some memories we’ve created this year those kids can always rely on.”
Harold is no stranger to his new school. He recalled facing the Panthers in rivalry match-ups while at Macon County.
“I just really feel like what I do as a coach–the type of coach I am–being at a small town school is what’s best suited for me and my family just to get those good values,” he said.
“Being in the city is different. It’s fast-paced, and I think that just for what I’m suited and how God created me, the Americus community will fit me a lot better.”
Harold will juggle two jobs until the end of the school year.