After five seasons that produced eight state-placers and the 2012 Region 4AAAAA traditional championship, Fiacco stepped down as the Hoyas’ wrestling coach at the conclusion of the 2012-13 campaign. He quickly turned the reins over to assistant coach Cory Newsome, who had been with Fiacco since he took over the program in 2008.
Newsome, a 2008 graduate of Georgia with a degree in health and physical education, brings an impressive resume to his new role — one that includes three Class AAAAA state championships, four region championships and four Cobb County Invitational titles as a wrestler at McEachern.
“Five years ago, when I took over to rebuild the program, Cory stepped forward to be an assistant coach,” Fiacco said. “I’ve been doing a lot of stuff behind the scenes, while Cory’s been in the room doing a lot of coaching. He’s been involved every step of the way. I know he’ll do a good job, and I’m excited for him.
“The program is in good hands. We’re not having to train and develop a bunch of new wrestlers every year. We can move forward knowing that we get a lot of experienced guys coming back.”
A 2003 McEachern graduate, Newsome spent his two years playing baseball at Georgia Perimeter before transferring to Georgia. He was an assistant wrestling coach for two years at Morgan County High School as part of his student-teaching assignment before joining Harrison’s staff.
Newsome has been involved with the Harrison program since graduating from Georgia. He taught physical education for three years at Mableton’s Sky View Elementary School before moving to Vaughan Elementary — about 3 miles west of the Harrison campus — for the past two years.
“When I first emailed Tom out of college,” Newsome said, “he explained to me that, if I wanted to be the next head coach, he wanted to groom me and look for an assistant coach to take over.
“I’m extremely excited. For my first head-coaching job, I couldn’t have walked into a better situation with our kids. We have great parents, coaches and administration. Most guys that come in have to rebuild, but we have everything in place.”
Newsome’s philosophy is a simple one that includes hard work, and that’s what he’ll stress to his wrestlers.
“The kids will have to be willing to put in the time,” he said. “We have several wrestlers already that want to do that.
“I want to teach kids on and off the mat, the way I was taught at McEachern. We’re losing a good bit of seniors this year, but we have some freshmen and sophomores returning who will be ready to go, and we’ll pull some junior varsity guys up to help, too.”