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Hammock: Carousel continues

The stress and pressure is too much. The school and its boosters expect wins. The time demands are too brutal. The fundraising is more than a major chore.

Those reasons for a head football coaching job coming open could describe big-time college football. With each passing year, it also tells more and more why there are so many head coaching vacancies at the high school level as the intensity, scrutiny and expectations can wear on even the best of coaches.

It's why you see nearly a third of Gwinnett's football programs sporting new head coaches as practices begin in earnest this week. Five schools -- Berkmar (Jonathan Sanks), Central Gwinnett (Todd Wofford), Collins Hill (Kevin Reach), Duluth (Corey Jarvis) and Meadowcreek (Deario Grimmage) -- filled their openings with young, energetic coaches and/or assistant coaches eager for their first head coaching job.

There's a reason for that. It takes an incredible amount of time, energy and patience to be a head high school football coach these days. You can only recharge the batteries for so long.

Much like college football, prep head coaches are more CEOs who don't deal with X's and O's (at least as much as they'd like). Football is a small part of a larger job, one that requires more than ever raising large amounts of money to keep up with rival schools.

Then they have to field parental complaints about why a kid isn't being heavily recruited by colleges (mom, he's 5-foot-7, 130 pounds), why he isn't eligible (dad, he failed five classes last semester) or why he isn't starting (he missed three practices last week).

Head coaches at bigger schools have to supervise large coaching staffs and 200-plus kids, doing their best to monitor grades and behavior. They work with large groups of parents, some who help the program greatly and a few who are more trouble than they're worth.

In between there, they hope to coach some football. And when it gets too tiring, they know it's the next guy's turn.

Will Hammock can be reached via e-mail at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays.