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Deas resigns as Wesleyan football coach

Less than a year after hiring only the second head football coach in school history, the Wesleyan Wolves are now searching for No. 3.

Phillip Deas, who was hired by Wesleyan in February and led the Wolves to the first round of the 2005 Class AA state playoffs, has resigned from the Norcross private school after accepting a job with Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, La.

Ironically, it's the very same school Wesleyan hired Deas away from 10 months ago, when he was the offensive coordinator for the nationally recognized football power.

Deas returns to his alma mater as the assistant head coach and the assistant athletic director. Longtime Evangel head coach Dennis Dunn recently accepted the head coaching job at Louisiana College, opening up a spot on the coaching staff and a spot in the athletic department.

"It's really the first transition Evangel has ever had," said Deas, who was the youth pastor at the school's church in his first tenure with Evangel. "And my father in law (Denny Duron) is the chancellor of the school and the pastor of the church and he asked me to come back and be there for the transition."

Deas accepted the job on Saturday and immediately informed Wesleyan of his decision.

It wasn't the easiest phone call he's ever had to make.

"It definitely wasn't fun," he said. "You're so grateful for the opportunity to be at a place like Wesleyan. It's a great school, with great people and great students. You're so grateful, but at the same time you have to do what's best for you and your family.

"And this is what's going to be best for us. I was reluctant to do it, but I'm excited about the opportunity."

After notifying Wesleyan administrators about the decision, Deas phoned every player on the varsity team to tell them the news. Since there were obviously no team meetings scheduled for the holidays, the 27-year-old wanted to make sure they found out from him.

"It was about 50 kids," Deas said. "I probably got about 80 or 90 percent of them. I just wanted to be able to do that, so they would hear it from me."

Deas leaves for Evangel immediately. He will be the interim athletic director at the Louisiana private school when classes begin in early January.

As for Wesleyan administrators, the search for head coach No. 3 is still very much in the infancy stages.

After all, until Saturday they thought they still had a head coach.

"We've got to regroup," Wesleyan athletic director DeWayne Cupples said. "This happened so suddenly, we're still kind of in the process of regrouping and figuring out a direction to go in.

"And with the holidays, it's difficult to get everybody together ... it happened so fast, we're just kind of on hold right now."