A little more than two months after Kevin Saunders’ resignation, Pebblebrook found its new football coach.
Turner County coach Leroy Hood will be the one taking the Falcons’ helm. He replaces following Saunders, who stepped down after four years and has since been named coach at Gilmer High School in Ellijay.
Hood will come to Mableton after consecutive 6-5 seasons at Turner County, a Class A program in the south Georgia town of Ashburn. With his arrival comes a long history in football as both a coach and player.
Before making his head-coaching debut at Turner County, Hood coached defensive backs at Tift County in 2016. The Arkansas native also coached at a number of high schools in his home state after playing football at the University of Arkansas and Arkansas Tech.
Hood was first directed to the Pebblebrook opening by a friend who coaches at Camden County. The friend told Hood that he was surprised at the hospitality in the Pebblebrook community, and Hood was intrigued.
Still, to Hood, Pebblebrook was known more for its success on the basketball court, but, after further thought, he believed, with the proper guidance, that the football talent could be like a diamond in the rough.
“The main thing I’d like to establish is discipline,” Hood said. “Figure out who we are and establish an identity as a physical football team.”
Hood describes his coaching style as one that is in the middle. He said he is a hard-nosed, old-school coach, but when it comes to a player needing someone to talk to and be open with, he is a player’s coach.
Pebblebrook had not reached the state playoffs since 2007 before making three straight appearances under Saunders’ tenure. Now, it is up to Hood to take the program up another level.
“My main expectation is just to instill a strong work ethic,” Hood said. “An every-day approach on getting better.”
Athletic director Leslie Ellis could not be reached for comment on Hood’s hiring.
Hood, who will teach weight training at Pebblebrook, is looking to lift the spirits of the Falcons’ fans.
“I think the community will be with open arms,” Hood said. “I’m looking forward to meeting the community, teachers and students.”
Pebbblebrook was the third Cobb County school to fill its opening this offseason after the introduction of Lassiter’s Sean Thom and Wheeler’s Bryan Love. Still searching are the two schools that most recently had its coaches leave -- McEachern and Campbell.