Saying his predecessor has made the transition a smooth one, Kevin Giddens will take over Colquitt County’s athletic director on Monday.
Giddens is a longtime Packers offensive line coach who also was the head coach football coach and athletic director at Coffee High before returning to Colquitt County, where he has been an assistant principal since 2001.
And in addition to his experience as an athletic director at Coffee from 1998-2001, he also has served as the Region 1-AAAAA/1-AAAAAA secretary since 2002 and for the last year has been the region’s representative on the Georgia High School Association’s executive committee.
His experience in sports and high school administration and his familiarity with athletics at Colquitt County should enable him to change hats with little difficulty.
Outgoing athletic director Darius Dawson has helped, too, Giddens says.
“I hope I can build on what coach Dawson has developed,” Giddens said of the former AD, who resigned recently to become an assistant principal at Charlie A. Gray Junior High School. “He’s done a tremendous job and is making it an easy transition. He’s been so supportive. I can’t thank him enough.”
Giddens says he is looking forward to taking over what he considers a strong athletic department.
“I have no plans to get back into coaching,” he said. “And this will allow me to stay connected with all athletes. Sports has been my life.
“And I couldn’t ask for a better situation. There is nothing that needs fixing right now. There will be some slow changes as we go forward, some bumps we’ll have to deal with. But I want to do what’s best for all the kids of Colquitt County.”
Giddens noted that one of the challenges facing the program will be how to find way to continue to fund the high school’s sports.
He did say he does not anticipate the addition of any other sports.
One of the problems facing athletic departments all over the state is cost of travel associated with how schools are divided into classifications and regions.
That issue will be addressed when the Georgia High School Association begins its reclassification process this fall.
Giddens also has been working with Packers football coach Rush Propst for the last year or so in an administrative capacity and as athletic director will also oversee the football program.
“As athletic director, I will be dealing with all sports,” he said.
Giddens calls Propst “the best high school football coach in the country,” and was the offensive line coach on Propst’s teams from 2008-2011.
Propst has led the Packers to state semifinals in each of the last four seasons and to the state championship game in 2010.
“Do we always agree? No,” Giddens said. “But he works for the best of our kids.”
Giddens said he also intends to keep baseball coach Tony Kirkland and girls basketball coach Rondesha Williams as assistant athletic directors.
“I value their knowledge and experience,” he said. “They are good people and I want to keep them around.”
A native of Cochran, Giddens played football at Georgia Southern and was head football and baseball coach at Long County before joining the Coffee High staff as an assistant.
In 1994, he was hired by Colquitt County head coach Jim Hughes to coach the offensive line and was on the staff of the Packers undefeated state championship team that season.
He remained on the Packers staff through 1997 before leaving to become head coach at Coffee from 1998-2000, where posted a 10-21 record.
He returned the following year to Colquitt County, where the program is known throughout the state for its athletic teams and facilities.
He noted the success of the football and baseball teams at the state level and golf and gymnastics teams have won state championships in recent years.
Travis Register has won back-to-back state wrestling championships and the tennis teams have made deep runs in the state tournament.
“And state-wide, people know about Packer Park,” Giddens said. “We have a jewel there. And our football stadium is a community stadium. It’s a jewel too.”
Giddens and his wife Lynn have two children: daughter Shannon and son Bryce, former All-State Packer and the sophomore starting center on the Arkansas State football team.