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Coming Home: Don Kerley Returning to Mountain City to Take Over Longhorns

Johnson County principal Lisa Arnold feels fortunate that she got her man after longtime coach Mike Atwood resigned after 16 years as the Longhorn coach.

Four days after opening up the job, Arnold tabbed former Longhorn Quarterback Don Kerley as head coach.

"It's very exciting to get a new head coach that knows about the program and that has been a part of it," Arnold said. "Because Coach Kerley is a Longhorn and that gets the community excited."

The Longhorns are coming their first playoff win since 1988 as they beat Chuckey Doak 23-20 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs and they went 5-7 in 2013.

Kerley has spent the last nine years coaching in Georgia with stops at Gilmer (2005-12) and Claxton (2013).

He started his coaching career under Atwood at Johnson County for two years (1994-95) then he moved over to West Green for three years (1996-98).

"This is the only reason I am returning," Kerley said. "It's great to return home and have an opportunity to coach at Johnson County."

Under Atwood's guidance the Longhorns made eight playoff appearances (1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2013) and had a 74-96 overall record in Mountain City.

McCurry Returning in Coaching?
Mac McCurry, who resigned from Marion county amid a vandalism scandal that made national headlines, should have a job in coaching and teaching at Buckhorn (AL) high school according to Buckhorn principal Todd Markham.

"Coach McCurry has been recommended for a position," Markham said. "The board meets July 10th."

If approved by the board, McCurry will join former Giles County coach David OConnor's staff who led the Bucks to the Class 6A playoffs in 2013 and a 6-5 record in his first season at Buckhorn.

The Bucks were coming off back to back 2-8 records before hiring O'Connor.

Contact Donovan at and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew

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