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South Gwinnett makes two hires

Since shortly after the end of the 2008-09 school year in May, South Gwinnett High School has had three major vacancies to fill.

With the beginning of the next school year just more than a month from now, two of those major vacancies have been filled with the recent hiring of Scott Woodall as the school's athletics director and Scott Bracco as head boys basketball coach.

Both have track records of success.

Woodall comes to South from Oconee County, where he was athletics director and assistant principal.

Under his guidance, Warriors teams have finished in the top four in the Class AAA Dodge Directors Cup standings the past five years, including placing third behind only St. Pius X and Woodward Academy this past year.

He is also familiar with Gwinnett County, having coached football and track at Berkmar before going to Oconee County.

"The main thing we were looking for (in an athletics director) was someone who will build a program by supporting the coaches and helping the coaches support the student-athletes," South principal Clay Hunter said. "(Woodall) brings that experience in terms of organizing all the processes that coaches need in place to have a successful program."

The newest coach Woodall will be working with is someone who is familiar with being in position to have a successful program.

Bracco has spent the last nine seasons at Dunwoody High School in DeKalb County, where he led the Wildcats to a 199-65 record, including back-to-back Class AAA state championships in 2005 and 2006 and four overall state semifinal appearances.

He also coached 28 Wildcat players who went on to play in college, including current Division I players Chris Singleton (Florida State), Delwan Graham (LSU), An'Juan Wilderness (Charlotte), Taylor Brown (Bradley) and Zac Swansey (transferred from Georgia to Tennessee Tech).

Bracco will succeed former coach Emmett Rouse, who resigned from South at the end of the school year to take a similar job at Butler, a Class AAAA school in Augusta, where Rouse's family lives.

And he inherits a solid group of returning players from a team that went 25-6 and advanced to the Class AAAAA state quarterfinals - where the Comets lost by a single point to eventual state runner-up Milton.

Included in that group is first-team All-County forward Adonis Harrison (14.7 ppg, 11.1 rpg) and fellow returning senior starter Javonte Maynor (11.1 ppg).

"They've got great tradition (at South), and there's a nice core coming back," Bracco said. "It's a great opportunity for my family and it's a new challenge."

The one vacancy still left to fill is that of head girls basketball coach, which was created when Mike Allison resigned at the end of the school year after guiding the Comets to 400 wins in 23 years with the program.

"We're looking at a number of different options," Hunter said of the search for a new girls coach. "Even when we make a decision, everything is subject to (Gwinnett school) board approval. It's got to be done this month for stability's sake. That's our goal."