Moreland, Grady part ways


Sean Sweeney

Coach Earthwind Moreland (center in gray shirt) who led the Knights to a 10-2 record in 2016, left Grady Nov. 8 as head football coach.

After a 2-7 season, Grady is seeking a new head football coach to replace Earthwind Moreland. His tenure lasted four years with an overall record of 24-19.

Moreland declined comment.

Last year was the most successful for Moreland’s staff at the helm of the Knights, with Grady winning a region title after a 9-1 regular season before a second round exit in the playoffs for the second year in a row.

Moreland originally left the school as a physical education teacher in October, but remained head coach of the football team. Administrators say this departure was his choice, but the removal as coach was not.

“It was his decision to leave, to go to another school [as a PE teacher],” athletic director John Lambert said. “It was not his decision to stop coaching. That decision was made by Dr. Bockman and myself.”

A search for a new coach has already begun, and there have already been numerous applications for the job according to Lambert.

“We have about 15 good applicants already,” Lambert said. “So we will reach out to them now and start interviewing right after the Thanksgiving break.”

As for the rest of the coaching staff, their status is in limbo as the new coach will decide on his assistants.

“As of now, [the assistants] are still on board,” Lambert said. “But as everyone knows in football, the head coach pretty much picks his own staff. So for whatever he doesn’t bring in, he will start doing interviews.”

The new coach will likely be a PE teacher at Grady, according to Lambert. However, in the event this does not work out, the administration will attempt to find a suitable position at the school for the new coach.

“More than likely, [a PE teacher and coach] is what we are looking for,” Lambert said. “Hopefully we can find another position if we can, so then one of his assistants will probably be a PE teacher, if we have any openings in other areas.”  

Players hope the new coach will switch up a few tactics next year in order to utilize the specific strengths of each player.

“Hopefully the new coach uses a Wing-T offense,” senior lineman Peter Bowden said. “If the new coach also focuses on discipline we could be better.”

Other players echoed the need for a focus on discipline with the new coach.

“In the new coach I want to see discipline, respect and loyalty,” sophomore offensive lineman Juan Givens said.

Many students had  favorable opinion of Moreland. As soon as rumors of Moreland’s departure spread around the school, signs were posted around campus reading ‘We want Coach Moreland, please we want him.’

Players will have a new coach for the first time next year at Grady. Many were saddened by the news of Moreland’s departure.

“I was sad because he has been here my whole high school experience,” Givens said. “The players are in a way scared because they have to get used to a whole new coach with new plays and a new personality.”



Former coach Earthwind Moreland tries to rally his troops during a timeout in the game against Jackson at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.