North Augusta High found its new football coach.
On Thursday, Northern Guilford (Greensboro, N.C.) coach Robert Brian Thomas was named the Yellow Jackets’ coach and athletic director.
“It’s a good program. I’m really excited,” he said. “It’s a one-school town with a lot of support. I’ve already met good people. Coming from where I’m at, there are 15 or 16 high schools – it’s a big change.”
Thomas went 12-3 in his one season as the Nighthawks’ head coach. He was defensive coordinator of the state championship teams of 2010-2012.
This past season, Northern Guilford finished one win shy of playing for the state championship. But Thomas had always wanted to return to his home state of South Carolina. He went to Presbyterian College and also coached in the state.
“I love those kids. We had a great run,” Thomas said. “But we always looked to get back there at some point.”
Thomas, 48, replaces Dan Pippin, who in February was named Greenwood’s head coach for the upcoming season. Pippin went 70-33 in eight seasons at North Augusta.
“I am pleased to announce that Mr. Brian Thomas has been selected to serve as the next Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for North Augusta High School,” North Augusta principal John Murphy said in a news release. “Mr. Thomas will be joining the North Augusta High School family on April 28 where his accomplishments and experiences are sure to continue our tradition of excellence.”
Thomas was one of three finalists for the job. Murphy said Westside head coach Steve Hibbitts and Yellow Jackets defensive coordinator Derrick Quinn were the final candidates along with Thomas.
Northern Guilford athletic director Brian Thomas said the coach informed the team he was taking the North Augusta job not long after he accepted the job.
“He’s a defensive-minded coach,” athletic director Thomas said. “He’s a very good coach and teacher as well.”