FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Shawn Coury has returned to Pinecrest Academy and will serve as head football coach for the 2020 season and take over as athletic director.
Coury was a member of the Paladins’ coaching staff from 2007 to 2011 and was with the school until 2016.
“To have the opportunity to come back and lead the team and be a part of this school again is very exciting,” Coury said. “It’s like coming home for me. There are a lot of people I know and love in the community.”
His familiarity with the school and football program has already been beneficial.
“Sometimes you go into a head coaching situation where you are unfamiliar with the community, and you just spend weeks and weeks building relationships from scratch,” Coury said. “In this sense, there is some of that because there are new families, but it eases a transition a bit because I know families and the faculty.”
Coury returns to Pinecrest after serving as an assistant coach at Cherokee in 2019. He was the head coach for Holy Spirit Prep, a Georgia Independent School Association member, for the 2016 and 2017 seasons where he compiled a 4-16 overall record.
Other coaching changes could be coming for the Paladins with Coury at the helm.
“I am a firm believer in hiring guys you can trust and trusting them to do their job,” Coury said.
Pinecrest revamped its offensive scheme from running the triple-option to a more pro-style offense under former head coach Terence Mathis. Coury said he has an idea of what schemes he would like to run, but they are contingent on the skillsets of his players. And with the ongoing pandemic, he has yet to see his players’ attributes in person over the summer.
To make do, Coury is sending his players weekly workouts and has met with most of his players and their families through virtual meetings.
“It’s a tough situation, and I wish I could meet the boys and their parents face to face, but we just have to adapt,” he said. “But is was cool, I was able to spend about 15-20 minutes with each family.”
Coury is inheriting a program that has struggled in recent years. Under Todd Winter, the Paladins won 25 games and captured a region title from 2014-16, but they went just 7-23 over the last three seasons under Mathis.
But every season ushers in new prospects.
“We have a great opportunity in front of us.” Coury said. “It’s a great opportunity to come out of a unique situation in the spring and get back to work in the summer. I’m excited to get with the boys.”