JOHNS CREEK – Chattahoochee head football coach Michael Owens resigned last week due to health reasons after serving in the position for only one season.
Owens has been dealing with gastrointestinal tumors since he was diagnosed in 2012.
“I’ve fought it for three months, but my health has gone down because of the effects from the chemo. I’m not getting any better, and I can’t physically coach,” he said.
Owens plans to stay on at Chattahoochee as a teacher, and help out in some capacity in athletics if possible. He has been a coach for 25 years, starting the program at Peachtree Ridge and serving as a top assistant on Brookwood’s 2010 state championship team.
“Football coaching is a calling, not a job,” Owens said. “Coaches do it because they love kids and want to help young men, and football is an avenue. It’s hard to walk away from that.”
The Cougars went 4-6 in Owens’ lone season as head coach. He replaced Terry Crowder, who led Chattahoochee to a state championship in 2010 and left to become head coach at Creekview in Cherokee County after nine years with the Cougars.
Chattahoochee graduated a number of talented skill position players off last season’s squad, and Owens’ replacement will face a difficult task reviving the school’s football fortunes.
The Cougars went 32-6 in Crowder’s last three seasons as head coach, but most of the talent Owens inherited was in the graduating senior class.
Chattahoochee opened in 1991, and three nearby high schools have opened since then, all drawing from the Cougars’ district. The team has switched back and forth in recent years between the two highest classifications in the Georgia High School Association, with the football team winning its recent state title in the lower classification of the two.