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Reach named Eagles' football coach

Collins Hill's administration followed tradition Monday with the announcement of its new head football coach.

Kevin Reach was promoted from the high school's offensive coordinator and strength coach position, becoming the program's third head coach since coach Alan Fahring retired following the 2001 season. While some schools choose to hire from elsewhere, the Eagles' past three head coaches -- Larry Sherrill, Billy Wells and Reach -- have been hired from within the program.

The latest is Reach, a veteran of 22 years coaching who will be a first-time head coach. He replaces Wells, the head coach and athletic director at Lanier, Gwinnett's newest high school slated to open in August.

"(I wanted to be a head coach) at the right place and only two places in my career was I interested in it," said Reach, who has been at Collins Hill the past two seasons. "This is the job I always wanted, at a big-time program playing on the big stage. This region's one of the best in Georgia football."

Reach, 43, is an Atlanta native who played his high school football at Clarkston. He got his high school coaching start at his alma mater, then worked for 10 seasons as offensive coordinator and strength coach at Loganville under longtime coach Tommy Stringer.

He briefly coached at Newton and Putnam County, serving as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach both places, before being hired by Wells when he took over at Collins Hill.

Reach has a few hires to make, needing to replace two coaches who joined Wells at Lanier. He plans to keep veteran defensive coordinator Larry Massey, but must replace himself as offensive coordinator and strength coach.

He also inherits a schedule that features non-region games with Roswell, Brookwood and M.L. King and a typically tough 7-AAAAA slate, but he's excited about the challenge.

"The kids work hard here, they're expected to work hard and they're kind of overachievers," Reach said. "They want to work hard and do well. They're driven and I like that. ... Also they've had a lot of success here at Collins Hill the last two years making the state playoffs. And we've got a great senior group coming back that's willing to work.

"I think we've got a great administration here, too. They do a great job. Our sports programs here are second to none."