The Coweta County School System Board of Education has named John Small as the new head coach for the East Coweta High School football program.
The board met in called session at the 237 Jackson Street Board of Education office on Friday, January 20, to take action on Small’s appointment. Small – currently the head coach of South Gwinnett High School’s football program – will become the Indian’s new head coach. He follows Steve Pardue, who announced earlier that he was retiring after three years as the ECHS head coach.
“We wish nothing but the best for Coach Steve Pardue in his retirement. He has been an incredible leader of our football program here at East Coweta High School,” said ECHS Principal Steve Allen. “We are also thrilled to have coach John Small join the Indian nation. I believe he will continue to carry on the tradition that we have here at ECHS, and he is coming with a strong commitment to our students, school and community.”
John Small has been the head football coach at South Gwinnett High School since 2005, after taking over for head coach T. McFerrin. Small led the South Gwinnett Comets to six state playoff appearances, including a 2009 season when they went 10-2. It marked just the fourth time since 1957 that the school’s football program reached double figures in wins.
Small had 9-3 records in 2010 and 2012 — two of only three nine-win seasons in Comet history. His final South team went 8-4, finished as the No. 2 seed in Region 8-AAAAAAA and reached the second round of the Class 7-A state playoffs. In 12 seasons at SGHS, Small had a 68-62 record and sent more than 120 players to the college level.
Small played college football at West Georgia and spent 15 of his 18 years in coaching at South Gwinnett. After two seasons of coaching at West Georgia he became an assistant at SGHS for three years and then an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Oconee County for three seasons before being hired as McFerrin’s replacement.
Small’s father, also John Small, played for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, who made him their first-round pick (12th overall) in 1970. He passed away in 2012.