Ron Lewis resigned Thursday from his position as Bryan County High School head football coach, which he has held for 12 years. Lewis also announced that he will be stepping down as BCHS Athletic Director at the end of the current school year. He plans to continue his teaching duties at BCHS.
"I’ve just decided to follow other professional goals right now," Lewis said. "I should have my doctrine in leadership in June, and I’m hoping to move into administration. I can’t do that while coaching and running the athletic department."
When asked if he’ll miss being a coach, Lewis said he will not and that he has paid his dues with 20 years of coaching under his belt.
Lewis said recent public discussions of the football team’s lackluster win-loss record had no impact on his decision.The Redskins were 1-9 last season. Over the past 12 years, the team has recorded 28 wins and 92 losses. This was brought up by BCHS parent Noah Covington at the December Board of Education meeting and in recent blogs by BoE member Charlie Johnson on the Bryan County News website. Both Covington and Johnson said they would like to see a change.
Covington said he is pleased with the fact that Lewis has stepped down, "yet it’s sad that it had to come to this. I’m sorry it had to come to people speaking publicly about his removal. It was never a personal issue with Ron. Ron has treated my kids well and has always treated other kids well. It was just time for a change."
"I think Ron did the right thing," Johnson said. "I think Ron is a fine man and I have nothing but respect for him. However, when you take a look at the record he’s been able to put together, it’s just not up to the expectations of students, parents and the community."
On the other hand, Johnson said he hates to see Lewis depart as athletic director and commended him for "years of fine work" in that position.
In 2008, Lewis was named Class-A Athletic Director of the Year for the state of Georgia.
"It’s no secret that Coach Lewis’s record was not stellar during his time here, but he has built a good athletic program here," BCHS Principal Harold Roach said. "We’ve done a lot of good things in his time here. I appreciate his hard work and his loyalty to the school. I appreciate all the things he has done in helping kids, and I think the betterment of these kids has always been his ulterior motive through everything he has done. He built great relationships with the kids and within the community to help support them. We wish him well, and we will now go forward in finding a suitable replacement."
"No matter what people might say, Coach Lewis tried his hardest and did a wonderful job as head coach," BCHS football senior Joseph Jenkins said. "He’s one of the best coaches I ever had."
"This is a big loss for our football program," BCHS football senior Winston Johnson said. "He will be missed. This may have been my last year, but I will be at the games and will miss seeing him on the field. It’s a big change. Coach Lewis is a big part of our community, our team and our school."
"He taught us a lot about the game and how to be young men," BCHS football senior Willie Deloach said. "His departure is a big shock, but I kind of knew it was coming. He had been talking about wanting to leave."
-Read more in the Bryan County News.