Greater Atlanta Christian recently announced the hiring of two new head coaches for the 2022-23 school year.

Newton Babb will be the Spartans’ head boys lacrosse coach, while Karyn Arnold will be head cheerleading coach.

Babb has seven years of varsity head coaching experience in North Carolina at Page and East Forsyth High Schools, but he is a Georgia native who played high school lacrosse at Walton, where he was a teammate of GAC assistant lacrosse coach Scott Ratliff. Babb played four years of lacrosse and football at Walton, and then played lacrosse at Greensboro College (N.C.).

He was a three-year college starter in the defense, earning all-conference as a senior in lacrosse and academics.

“Newton Babb embodies the characteristics we want in a head coach at GAC,” GAC athletic director Tim Hardy said. “First, he has a deep Christian faith that he lives out on a daily basis. Second, he has a natural ability to connect with student-athletes and a passion to see young men develop through athletics. Third, he loves lacrosse and has a deep knowledge of the game. Finally, he has a clear vision for the future of Spartans lacrosse and how it can develop the young men in the program. We are excited to have Coach Babb as our new head boys lacrosse coach at GAC.”

Babb and his wife, Sydnie, have an infant daughter, Millie.

”My family and I are extremely excited for this opportunity at Greater Atlanta Christian School,” Babb said. “Everything from the community, spiritual worship, the facilities, the staff and the commitment to excellence is home for us. GAC is a very special place with unlimited potential. I am blessed and honored to lead the lacrosse program and continue the foundation laid before me. Hard work, determination and energy are some of the many strong traits I will bring to the program to continue the program’s excellence. These young men are going to become great lacrosse players but even greater leaders, Christians, husbands and fathers. The best is yet to come.”

Arnold, a Stockbridge native, earned a promotion after spending the past two years as a GAC varsity assistant in cheerleading. She was a four-year football and basketball cheerleader at Reinhardt University, serving as team captain in 2019.

“In a short period of time, Karyn has made her mark on the GAC campus,” Hardy said. “She arrived at GAC in the fall of 2020 as a Faculty Fellow, serving as an assistant cheer coach as well as in the science department. This school year, she had an expanded role in our cheer program, serving as our lead assistant for both the sideline and competition teams. Over the past two years, she has consistently earned the respect of our school administration and athletic department as she had distinguished herself as a talented teacher and coach. In addition to her coaching responsibilities, she will be teaching in our middle school science department next year.

“Our athletic leadership team has been so impressed with Coach Arnold’s love for cheer and desire to develop the girls in the program. She has a deep Christian faith and is passionate about using the cheerleading experience to see young women grow spiritually, as well as athletically. We are excited for Coach Arnold to serve as our new head cheerleading coach as she leads the program into the future.”

Arnold was a school and all-star cheerleader for 12 years during her youth who finished her all-star career with the Georgia Heat All-Star Cheer Company. She was a 2015 NCA national champion and competed at The Summit and The Cheerleading Worlds.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen to take over the cheerleading program at GAC,” Arnold said. “Cheerleading is something that I have been passionate about my whole life, and I am excited to share that passion with these young ladies. During my two years here, I have seen that GAC is a special place, a genuine family atmosphere that truly cares about our students’ well-being. I feel so blessed to be a part of this kind of community. I want to help develop these ladies not only as cheerleaders, but also as strong, Christ-like leaders.

“I am so thankful for Coach (Jennifer) Thomas and all she has done to build the program and serve as a mentor to me. I am excited to continue working with these girls as we keep growing the GAC Cheer program and I can’t wait to get the season started.”

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Sports Editor for the Gwinnett Daily Post and Regional Sports Director for Southern Community Newspapers, Inc. A Gwinnett native documenting Gwinnett County sports with the GDP since 1997.

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