December 17, 2012

Murray County football coach resigns

Murray County High football coach John Hammond resigned today, meaning the Indians will begin the 2013 schedule with their fifth coach in eight seasons.

In a media release, athletic director Greg Linder wrote that he “and the administration are very appreciative of all coach Hammond has done for the program over the past two years. Coach Hammond’s dedication and commitment to the program have not gone unnoticed, and we have no doubt that our student-athletes are better young men due to the influence of coach Hammond.”

Hammond worked as an assistant coach for 19 years — including nearly a decade at Murray County — before being hired for his first head coaching job when he took over the Indians in March 2011. He went 2-18 in his two years in charge, with both of those wins coming from forfeits by Dalton and Southeast Whitfield for the use of an ineligible player in 2011.

Including the forfeits’ original scores, the Indians were outscored 213-0 in Hammond’s first three games. Murray County gave up at least 41 points in each game under Hammond, was shut out seven times and scored more than 14 points in a single game just once.

Hammond followed two-year stints by John Zeigler, who went 4-16 in 2009 and 2010, and Josh Lowe, who was 1-19 in 2007 and 2008. Bill Napier, who went 94-78-1 in 16 seasons as the Indians’ head coach, resigned after going winless in 2006.

Napier went 7-4 in 2005, which was the last time the team had a winning record or made the state playoffs. The Indians haven’t won a postseason game since 2001.

All score and coaching record information was obtained at

The release also said Linder and the administration will “immediately begin looking for an effective, experienced, certified teacher” to fill the head coach’s job. The deadline to send resumés to is Jan. 25.

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