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Dickerson named head football coach, athletic director as Gillespie announces departure

Dickerson to take head football coach, athletic director position as Gillespie announces departure


Hart County High School Principal, Kevin Gaines, introduced current defensive coordinator Cory Dickerson as the new head football coach and athletic director during a press conference on Wednesday, January 12, after current head football coach and athletic director, Rance Gillespie, announced his resignation.

“Over the last several years, we have made a deliberate effort to develop leadership from within the Hart County Charter System, not just in coaching, but in administration and all areas of the school system. Because of that effort, we have developed quality people from within the school system. Coach Dickerson is definitely a class act and a highly skilled coach. We’re very excited to have him as our next head football coach and athletic director,” Superintendent Jay Floyd said.

Dickerson takes over after Gillespie served 5 seasons with the Hart County football team and accumulated a 28-27 record with 5 state playoff appearances, including a quarter final appearance.

“Today is a very emotional day for me. I have made the decision to move from Hart County as the athletic director and head football coach. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to Mr. Floyd, the Board of Education, Mr. Gaines, this faculty, this community, and most of all, the kids,” Gillespie said during the press conference.

Hart County High School Principal, Kevin Gaines, then announced current defensive coordinator Cory Dickerson will take over as the 17th head football coach in school history, as well as the athletic director position.

“This gentleman graduated from Stephens County High School and Presbyterian College. In his coaching career, he has made stops at West Hall, Sandy Creek, Gainesville, South Gwinnett, and Jefferson,” Gaines said. “He certainly needs no introduction, as he walks the halls of Hart County High School everyday, and has for the last five years. I’m proud to announce our new head football coach and athletic director, our current defensive coordinator, Cory Dickerson.”

Dickerson thanked God, his family, Coach Gillespie, Superintendent Jay Floyd, the Board of Education, and Principal Kevin Gaines for the opportunity. Dickerson’s parents are graduates of Hart County High School.

“I’ve known this since growing up, I was here visiting (family), it seemed like all this time I knew Hartwell and Hart County was a special place. From the outside in, you look at the lake, you look at downtown, you look at the school, you look at the beautiful countryside, and that’s what a lot of people think makes this place special. But when you live here, you find out it’s the people. It’s the people that make this community special. We’ve been so happy to call this place home for five years, and look forward to calling it home for a whole lot longer,” Dickerson said.

“This school has so much pride and so much tradition. I’ve been at a lot of schools and the leadership here is second to none,” Dickerson said. “...The goal here is to transform the lives of young men. It is to transform the lives of young men through the game of football or through athletics. We do that by helping them reach their full potential physically, mentally, socially, and also spiritually. I tell people this all the time, my classroom is just a little bit bigger and louder than most, whether it’s the weight room or that football field, we’re teaching life lessons there. We’re teaching work ethic, we’re teaching discipline, we’re teaching teamwork. And those are things that are going to help us not only win games, but more importantly, they’re going to stay with these young athletes after football, or their sport, is done… We want to be champions on the field, we want to be champions off the field.”