First-year coach Galbraith out at Harrison
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
October 26, 2012 12:47 AM | 17141 views | 45 45 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Only seven games into his first — and, ultimately, his only — season as Harrison’s football coach, Marty Galbraith abruptly left the school Thursday, according to school district officials.
<BR>Staff photo by Todd Hull
Only seven games into his first — and, ultimately, his only — season as Harrison’s football coach, Marty Galbraith abruptly left the school Thursday, according to school district officials.
Staff photo by Todd Hull
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Before he could even finish his first season, Marty Galbraith is out as Harrison High School’s football coach.

Galbraith left the school Thursday, according to Cobb County School District spokesman Doug Goodwin. He leaves the football team in the hands of longtime Hoyas coach Bruce Cobleigh, who will finish out the season as the interim head coach.

At this point, it is unclear if Galbraith was fired, or if he resigned his position. Goodwin would only confirm that Galbraith was no longer an employee of the school.

Calls to Galbraith and Cobleigh seeking comment were not returned. A secretary for Harrison principal Donnie Griggers deferred comment to school district officials.

The 62-year-old Galbraith was hired in March to replace former coach David Hines, who stepped down in November.

Galbraith came to Harrison after spending six years as a special teams coach for the Tennessee Titans. He also spent time over a 37-year coaching career as an offensive coordinator at Duke, North Carolina State and Marshall.

Galbraith did have head-coaching experience at the high school level, and in Cobb County. He went 19-11 at Lassiter from 1995-97.

Galbraith’s hiring capped a five-month national search and was applauded by school administrators, alumni, parents and players alike.

“We’re happy to have Marty as our new coach,” Harrison’s then-athletic director, Jerry Meuschke, told the Marietta Daily Journal in March. “It’s been a long episode in trying to find one, but the kids and parents are really excited about trying to start a new chapter.”

That chapter lasted seven games into Galbraith’s first season with the Hoyas.

He left one day before Harrison (4-3, 3-2) was to play Hillgrove (4-3, 3-2) in a key Region 4AAAAAA game with playoff implications. The winner of the game remains squarely in the race for one of the region’s four playoff spots, with the loser likely to miss the postseason.

The 61-year-old Cobleigh returned to Harrison’s coaching staff this fall as Galbraith’s offensive coordinator, five years after stepping down as head coach to spend time with family.

Cobleigh launched Harrison’s football program as the school opened in 1992, spending 16 seasons at the helm with a record of 125-58. That included four region championships and a runner-up finish to Parkview in the 2000 Class AAAAA state finals.

In honor of building the Harrison program from the ground up, and making it into a consistent winner, the school’s stadium was renamed in Cobleigh’s honor during the 2008 season.
Comments
(45)
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HarrisonParent
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November 02, 2012
Bruce Cobleigh--one of the best high school coaches in the country. He did more with the talent available than any coach in the state of georgia. If he had the talent at valdosta or camden county, he would have about 10 state titles by now.
One Who Knows
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October 31, 2012
Did it ever occur to you all that Griggers has enough integrity to NOT tell the story behind Galbraith's rather sudden departure? Did it ever occur to you all that the reason he had to leave was embarrassing and he didn't have the intestinal fortitude to tell his players and that is why Griggers had to do it? Did you all ever stop to think that sometimes a man gets caught doing something he wasn't supposed to be doing with someone who works at the same school? Think about it....now don't you feel stupid for jumping to conclusions, slamming players, parents, other coaches and administration?
Yo Adrian
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November 01, 2012
This is the absolute truth. This, like most Human Resource issues are not for public consumption. It may not feel right if you are a player or a parent but it is not your business to know everything. As hard as this is, accept it and move on.
Former Hoya Parent
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October 28, 2012
Said it before and will say it again. Griggers needs to go. You will never get a quality coach to come here or stay here working for him.

He is very much over is head in his position as a principal.

Very said for the Harrison kids and parents in all regards and not just football.
BigTexan
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October 28, 2012
This is the real problem at Harrison. Griggers needs to go! The "20 players" or playtime or none of that stuff matters and is not what this is about. Whether you are one of the 20 or on the bench, they all got screwed over equally. Those parents deserve some explanation. Maybe the MDJ will stick with this story and find out the truth. Would love to hear Galbraith's side.
Slueth
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October 29, 2012
How can you be the coach work for the atheltic director and have him as your running back coach. Would you stay. That's a conflict if I ever saw one plus the AD is unqualified to coach.
Power Of Dixieland
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October 27, 2012
Too many parents serving their own selfish interests.

Due West football and Oregon Park baseball - the cradle of daddy ball.
West Cobber
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October 27, 2012
How true, how true.....
Mustang Fan
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October 27, 2012
It's good to see some turmoil across acworth due west road and it feels good to have a solid coach, who's positive and spiritual running our program at Kennesaw. We are team that is rebuilding and not quite a contender but things arent so bad over here at the Mountain. The Hoyas have good athletes and IMHO have no idea what its like to deal with limited atheletic turnout like we have had over the last 3-4 years for football. Good luck dealing with the Cobbleigh legacy.....that huge scoreboard only looks good when the home team is winning, otheriwse it just magnifies how bad the program really is.
Blown Away
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October 31, 2012
Mustang fan, what a hypocrit you are! So thankful for HHS turmoil but oh so blessed to have a spiritual leader for your team? Get over yourself.
former Harrison mom
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November 02, 2012
Wow, how nasty is this? "It's good to see turmoil"???

Just wow. If you are a parent, no wonder our kids are so messed up.
HHS Dad
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November 16, 2012
Hey Mustang Fan,

You're a jerk.
KP #1
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October 26, 2012
As a former Hoya football player under coach Cobleigh I am very proud of where I played and who I played for. During my years at Harrison we were hands down the most dominant team in the region year in and year out. It is amazing that people still complain about not enough players got a chance to play. If you are not good enough to play, you won't play. How hard is that to grasp. It is not pound ball anymore, all your kids do not get trophies for the heck of it. I wish my former head coach, coach Cobleigh the best of luck and my high school all the success.
Strangely Familiar
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October 26, 2012
Kind of reminds me of a certain Atlanta Falcons Head Coach that left for greener pastures in Arkansas in the middle of the season and without saying anything to his players.

We all know how that turned out.

Its a question of character, and regardless of the situation you don't leave high school kids high and dry in the middle of the season.
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
Marty Gailbraith is a class act! He would never quit anything! I really think there is a lot of political BS going on at that school. Parents need to really question who is in charge over there. Something really fishy is going on! Don't be fooled!
Give Me Break
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October 26, 2012
No one really knows what truly happend other then

Donnie Griggers. Mr Griggers this is a 101 tid bit on how to NOT to commuincate. To have no comment and not to answer any questions is poor judgement & startegy on your part. It leads to false speculation , rumors , finger pointing and ill will . I thought - key word THOUGHT you had a better head on your shoulders.

Simply put - just tell the TRUTH on what happened. We are all big boys and girls or are you guy WHO CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH !

Cobb Observer
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October 26, 2012
Coach Galbraith is a class act! I had the pleasure of working for him in college football and I can tell you he did abandon those kids. There is much more to this. Hopefully he will get the chance to set the record straight.
Get A Clue
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October 26, 2012
Cobb Observer - Really ...Galbraith Class Act. Are you kidding me he should be ashamed of himself. Not to acknowledge the kids ( who by the way is what it's all about ) What kind of Class Act guy simply sneaks out the back door. He has all his key player cellphones numbers. Very very poor character and leadership he has shown. He will be remembered as Quiter. Look at his track his resmue is like an Army brat.

Whatever the reason. No one quits on his team with three games left and not to say a word to the kids is real dissapointment.

Mr Griggers are you out there ??? - step up to the plate and set everyone straight
Get A Clue
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October 26, 2012
Anonymus - Get a Clue. You must be the Daddy of little Johnny who constantly complains my son is NOT getting any playing time. Your right they do only play 20 kids - and yes some both ways. The kids that are out there should be playing. I know the depth just as well as anyone and we dont have a lot.

Coach Gailbraith is a disgrace - who quits with three games left. Better who quits and does not say goodbye to his players. He's a coward

For the record no strife between Cobleigh and Gailbraith. They are good friends. You correct Coach Brown is a tool - kids can't stand him
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
We have a sophomore class that has won 2 championships as junior program players. Don't tell me we don't have depth. We don't have a coaching staff who knows how to utilize the players we have.
GoGators
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October 28, 2012
Get a clue - be nice... don't think anyone would have a problem with only a few players if Hoyas were consistantly winning but your starters have taken some serious beat downs this year - offensively and defensively... oh wait.. aren't those the same players??? Maybe time to switch it up... just sayin...

Heard the sophomores were good. Give them a shot. What do you have to lose at this point?

LOL@anonymous
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October 29, 2012
That "sophomore class that won two championships as junior program players" lost the one player that mattered most: Ryan Moore, who was a beast on both sides of the ball but now plays LB for Hillgrove.

The players just ARE NOT THERE like they once were- many inside the program and all of us outside it can see this easily. The lack of athletes seen on the field against Hillgrove was amazing. Every program goes through talent cycles and those in metro Atlanta also have to deal with new schools being built close by...Harrison may rise again but there's no way they can do much better than they are currently. Mceachern suffered the same drop in talent followed by Hillgrove opening but I think most would agree they have recovered very well, close to being back to the dominant force we saw in the 1990s.
Former HHS Coach
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October 26, 2012
As a former Harrison Head Coach all I can say is....I'm not surprised and don't expect to be supported there.
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
Wanted - New Harrison Head Coach.

Must be a puppet for admistration.

Must dress out 100 players but only play 20.

Must be willing to give up all control.

All takers contact Donnie Griggers.

No Name
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October 26, 2012
Mr. Griggers has been in one school longer than any other Cobb county principal, a very long time. Maybe it's time for him to move on.
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
I really feel bad for the Hoya players. They were so excited to have a coach who was unbiased and fair AND who actually knew something about football. Now just back to the same-old, same-old...
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
I have had 3 boys go through the football program and it has always been a joke. I had such high hopes this year when Coach Gilbraith was hired. I find it hard to believe he left on his own. He probably got sick and tired of the "Harrison Way". I seriously feel he was pushed out the door. So sad! Harrison needs to get it together fast!!!
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
Coach Galbraith was a class act. No way he left those boys mid-season on his own. He was what Harrison needed. My guess is he wouldn't play by the "Harrison Rules" or work under the Grigger's dictatorship. Sorry we will never know the real story. Harrison "does not allow" bad press! WHATEVER!!!
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
Harrison will be lucky to win one more game!!
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
I find it hard to believe that Coach Gilbraith left on his own with 2 weeks left in the season. I think he was fed up with Cobleigh taking over the team when he is not the head coach. Now we are in a world of hurt with the coaches that are left. There needs to be a huge change for next season. Wish we could get some coaches that lift up the boys and not constantly tear them down. Hope the next coach will give more than 22 players a chance (really like 15 since players play both ways) Feel bad for the players and can only hope things will be better next season....
Timus
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October 26, 2012
They are going to want to bring in Dick Buckus and Vince Lombardi after Hillgrove puts the beatdown on them tonight!!!
perspective please
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October 26, 2012
Y'all remember the early Harrison days were a little easier because the player pool wasn't split with Kennesaw Mtn, Hillgrove, and Allatoona.

My bet is Galbrieth got fed up hearing from Cobleigh how "her used to do it" and hearing the same from the boosters/parents. To tell me an NFL special teams coach can't manage a high school team is rediculous as statistically they make the best head coaches.
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
I beleive this is a good theory.

I had daughters and was a Harrision parent but no skin in the football game. Coach Cobbleigh, a good guy, never really left. How tough was it for the new guys? Especially with the split in talent...

Galbrieth had a wealth of experience. This is sad for the kids.

anonymous
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October 26, 2012
AMEN!!!!
anonymous
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October 26, 2012
Not how Cobleigh used to do it.... He was still doing it!!! Galbraith was just a figure-head. Cobleigh has been running it all along. You can't promise an NFL coach control then say "nevermind, we got it". No wonder he left. Surprised it took this long to see how Harrison works.
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