Conor Foster

New Cartersville football head coach Conor Foster is joined by wife Kim and children Madi and Baylor. 

A homegrown assistant has been promoted to become only the fourth head football coach in 33 years at Cartersville High School.

Conor Foster will move from the team’s defensive coordinator position to replace Joey King, Cartersville Principal Shelley Tierce told the Cartersville City School Board Thursday night.

“We have such confidence in the strength of our program and the qualifications of our coaching staff, we felt it was more than appropriate to initially look within for Coach King’s replacement,” Tierce said.

King is leaving the school after compiling a 67-4 record in five seasons. He reportedly will become the wide receivers coach at Coastal Carolina University of the Sun Belt Conference.

Foster was King’s defensive coordinator at Carrollton High School before following him in 2014 to serve in the same position at Cartersville, where they won back-to-back state titles in 2015 and 2016.

Cartersville’s defenses allowed an average of about nine points per game and shut out opponents 16 times in five years under Foster.

This year, Foster coached seven defensive players who were named to the All-Region first and second teams. The Purple Hurricanes were region champions and advanced to the GHSA Class 4-A title game in 2018.

Foster grew up in Cartersville and was a 2001 Cartersville High graduate, He was a member of the school’s 1999 state championship team.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from UGA; a master’s degree from Troy State; and an education specialist degree from Valdosta State.

Foster worked as an assistant coach and teacher at Apalachee High School before joining King’s staff at Carrollton in 2013.

He is a teacher at Cartersville Middle School while his wife, Kim, is a teacher at Cartersville High.

Tierce said, “Coach Foster has a long record of coaching accomplishments, but one of his best qualities, in my opinion, is his passion for developing student-athletes into strong individuals capable of success both on and off the playing field.

“His experience on our coaching staff for the past five seasons opens the door for a seamless transition and a continuation of the success of our program. We are excited about the future of ‘Canes football and we believe Coach Foster is the right fit for our students, our players, our school and our community,” Tierce said.

Foster will follow his former coach, Frank Barden, in the same position.

Since 1986, only King, Barden and Mike Earwood have coached the Purple Hurricanes and each led the team to a state title.


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