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Mustangs hire Grimmage as new football coach

Deario Grimmage has been honored with the Touchdown Club of Gwinnett's assistant coach of the year award twice in his young career, once at Shiloh and last season with Meadowcreek.

The 31-year-old won't be eligible for that honor next season, but with a great reason. He was announced as the Mustangs' head football coach on Monday as the replacement to David Ward, who resigned last month.

It's the first head coaching job for Grimmage, an assistant in Gwinnett the past three years.

"I'm excited about it," Grimmage said. "The standards of Gwinnett County and the Touchdown Club, they want to keep Gwinnett County football at an elite level and that's why I enjoy it here. Meadowcreek has exceptional leadership and so does Gwinnett. So you don't want to let anybody down.

"The kids here are excited and they're hungry. They want to do well. We have a great group of kids."

Grimmage grew up in Georgetown, S.C., as a high school quarterback. He played the position as a true freshman at Morris Brown, then transferred and played three more seasons as a defensive back at South Carolina State.

He began his coaching career in Augusta at Josey High, where he worked under longtime NFL lineman Barney Chavous. Eager to get to the Atlanta area, he left Josey for Shiloh to work with then-Generals head coach Nick Davis.

Grimmage has been at Meadowcreek for more than a year, so he's aware of the job that lies ahead. The Mustangs have a 3-77 record since 2002 and suffered a 43-game losing streak that ended in 2008. He becomes the program's 10th head coach since the 1997 season and fourth in the past four seasons.

"I don't look at it as a tough job," Grimmage said. "I look at it as a great opportunity to embrace the kids, to share football with them and to help the Meadowcreek community come together as a family."