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Three Gwinnett coaches reach 100-win milestone

Mickey Conn couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate his 100th career coaching victory.

The Grayson head coach did it by winning the state championship last season.

"It probably made it that more exciting," Conn said.

Conn was the first in a recent run of Gwinnett County football coaches to reach the 100-win milestone.

Brookwood's Mark Crews and Buford's Jess Simpson reached 100 wins last week and Norcross' Keith Maloof can win his 100th game as a Gwinnett coach tonight.

"It makes it special for me because I grew up in Gwinnett County and I know the quality of competition," said Conn, a South Gwinnett grad. "100 games is hard to win no matter what region or where you are. It's hard to win 100 games whether it's college, high school, pro, or pee-wee."

Conn, Crews and Simpson have expanded the 100-win club in Gwinnett to 10 members. It's quite an exclusive group when you consider there's been nearly 150 head coaches in Gwinnett all-time.

"That's a pretty short list of people," Crews said. "It's an honor to be with those guys."

Winning 100 games in Gwinnett is not an easy feat. This a county that routinely produces some of the nation's top college prospects. The county has claimed 14 state titles in three different classifications since 2000.

"I think anyone would agree competing in Gwinnett and our region for the last 12 years, one of the best areas in the country, to win consistently is a feather in the cap," Crews said.

Parkview's Cecil Flowe became the county's winningest coach when he passed longtime Central Gwinnett coach Tally Johnson this season. Flowe has 189 wins and will likely join the state's prestigious 200-win club next year. He surpassed Johnson's total of 185 wins earlier this season.

The group also includes former coaches like Dacula and Meadowcreek coach Kevin Maloof (172), Duluth's Cecil Morris (150), Brookwood's Dave Hunter (149) and Buford's Ed Cochran (129) and Dexter Wood (118).

"I never thought I'd be in that kind of company," Conn said. "To be mentioned with guys like Dexter and Dave is an honor. Those are guys I've looked up to."

Now a young crop of successful coaches has emerged.

Conn built the Grayson program from scratch and reached the program's 100th win in the 12th year of existence.

Simpson is the fastest coach to ever get to 100 wins. Its taken him just eight seasons at Buford to reach the milestone.

"I don't know if a coach can reflect on much during the season," a humble Simpson said. "I would have never known about it if it weren't for someone telling me. I've been blessed to be in a place with great support."

To reach 100 wins so fast is impressive, considering Simpson's coaching career didn't start of so great. His first year as a head coach at East Paulding he was 0-10. Simpson took the head job at Buford in 2005 and has won 12 or more games every year, including five state titles.

"The year I had at East Paulding, I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world," Simpson said. "I think I learned how to be a head coach."

Simpson is continuing a tradition of winning at Buford. He's the third Wolves coach to reach 100 wins. Cochran was the first, followed by Wood.

"That speaks to the type of program and tradition we have," Simpson said.

Brookwood is the only other school to have multiple 100-win coaches. Crews succeeded Hunter in 2002 and has led the Broncos to the playoffs 10 straight seasons, including three state championship game appearances and one title in 2010.

"From my standpoint, I realize I'm not doing this by myself," Crews said. "There's several assistant coaches that have been around for everyone of them. In my mind it's the program's 100th win and not just mine."

Norcross' Keith Maloof is the next in line to reach 100 wins in Gwinnett. As the former head coach at Tucker, Maloof already has more than 100 career wins. Along with his older brother Kevin and his late father George, the Maloofs have won 454 games combined.

That's still not enough to beat longtime Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell, who holds the state record for coaching wins with 463.

With 100 wins out of the way, it's time for them to start working on the next 100.

"I imagine I'll be fishing somewhere before that happens," said Crews, who is in his 36th year of coaching, with a chuckle.

100-WIN CLUB

Here's a look at the coaches that have won 100 games as Gwinnett County football coaches.

Name, School Years Record

Cecil Flowe, Parkview 1993-present 189-57

Tally Johnson, Central Gwinnett 1974-2001 185-111-8

Kevin Maloof, Dacula/Meadowcreek 1986-2010 172-99

Cecil Morris, Duluth 1970-1990 150-82-7

Dave Hunter, Brookwood 1987-2001 149-36

Ed Cochran, Buford 1973-1991 129-82-5

Dexter Wood, Buford 1995-2004 118-17

Mickey Conn, Grayson 2000-present 105-38

Mark Crews, Brookwood 2002-present 100-31

Jess Simpson, Buford 2005-present 100-6

Keith Maloof, Norcross 1999-present 99-48

Note: Records do not include games coached at non-Gwinnett schools

WHO'S NEXT

Here's a look at the next group of active Gwinnett coaches to reach 100 wins in Gwinnett.

Name, School Years Record

Bob Sphire, North Gwinnett 2006-present 71-12

Franklin Pridgen, Wesleyan 2006-present 58-21

John Small, South Gwinnett 2005-present 45-36

Shannon Jarvis, Mill Creek 2004-present 42-48

Billy Wells, Lanier/Collins Hill2008-present 22-10

Kevin Reach, Collins Hill 2010-present 19-11

Andy Dyer, Archer 2009-present 12-18

Todd Wofford, Central Gwinnett 2010-present 11-14

Corey Jarvis, Duluth 2010-present 10-16

Mark Fleetwood, Peachtree Ridge 2011-present 10-7

FASTEST TO 100

Here's a look at how many games and years it took the following coaches to reach the 100-win mark in Gwinnett:

Name, School Games Years

Jess Simpson, Buford 106 8

Dexter Wood, Buford 115 9

Cecil Flowe, Parkview 118 9

Dave Hunter, Brookwood 124 11

Mark Crews, Brookwood 131 11

Mickey Conn, Grayson 137 12

Tally Johnson, Central Gwinnett 137 13

Kevin Maloof, Dacula/Meadowcreek149 14

Cecil Morris, Duluth 155 14

Ed Cochran, Buford 157 14

Note: Norcross' Keith Maloof has 99 wins in 14 seasons and 147 games