HobbsDailyReport.com

MORGANTON – Jim Bob Bryant, head football coach last season at Freedom High, is leaving to take a head coaching job in Georgia.

Bryant — who came to Freedom and replaced Brandon Allen when Allen left to join the coaching staff at North Buncombe after three seasons — will be the new head coach at North Paulding (Ga.) High, as first reported by Chris Hughes of http://carolinapreps.com.

Freedom Principal Felicia Simmons gave HobbsDailyReport.com confirmation that Bryant has resigned his position at Freedom, indicating he would be leaving Morganton before the school year ends. She said the school will issue a press release later on Thursday.

North Paulding is in Dallas, Ga., and is a suburb northwest of Atlanta that is about a 30-mile drive from Atlanta. Its varsity football team went 8-3 last season and was third in its region (7A Region 3).

Freedom went 4-3 in the Northwestern 3A-4A last season, tying Hickory and St. Stephens for third place, and finished 7-5 after falling to Rockingham County 47-29 in the first round of the 3A bracket.

Bryant’s coaching career includes a stint as offensive coordinator at Williamston (1996-2002) and his head-coaching experience is at North Buncombe, Greene Central, Havelock and Freedom. His teams are 167-40 and he won three state titles (2011-13) at Havelock.

Bryant played quarterback at Guilford College and is an East Carolina graduate.

The Patriots will now be searching for the 12th head varsity football coach in school history and their fourth since the 2013 season (see graphic).

Freedom went 64-12 with six straight seasons of 10 or more wins beginning with a 10-3 record in 2010 under Mike Helms.

Helms led the Patriots to 10-1, 12-3 and 11-2 records before leaving Freedom after the 2012 season.

Freedom hired Blair Hardin, previously head coach at Porter Ridge High and son of legendary football coach Bruce Hardin, in 2013. Blair Hardin led the Patriots to a conference title via an 11-2 team that season.

When Hardin left to take a job at North Myrtle Beach (S.C.), the Patriots hired Allen, whose first two Freedom teams won conference titles and went 10-1-1 and 11-2, respectively.

Allen’s final team dipped to 6-6 overall, tying for third in conference play.

FREEDOM HIGH’S
HEAD FOOTBALL COACHES
A LOOK AT THE HEAD VARSITY FOOTBALL COACHES IN FREEDOM FOOTBALL HISTORY:
COACH YRS FINAL YR.
*RALPH (JUG) WILSON 9 1982
KEN TREADWAY 2 1984
MIKE MABRY 2 1986
PETE STOUT 4 1990
*JOHNNY ANDERSON 4 1994
TIM MCMAHON 11 2005
LANCE WATSON 3 2008
MIKE HELMS 4 2012
BLAIR HARDIN 1 2013
BRANDON ALLEN 3 2016
JIM BOB BRYANT 1 2017
*–DECEASED
SOURCE: HOBBSDAILYREPORT.COM FILES AND RESEARCH.