ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell has found its new head coach within its own ranks with the announcement that defensive coordinator Chris Prewett will lead the program in 2020.
Prewett replaces his coaching mentor, Matt Kemper, now the head coach at Etowah.
Their relationship began when Prewett was a graduate assistant at his alma mater, LaGrange College. In 2014, Kemper brought on then 23-year-old Prewett to join his staff at Pope. A year later, Kemper was named the head coach at Johns Creek and took on Prewett as his defensive coordinator.
The head coach/defensive coordinator pair stayed together when Kemper took over the Roswell program in 2017. Now, Prewett is ready to make his own mark as head coach, and he is thankful to Kemper for his mentorship.
“I can’t give coach Kemper enough thanks,” Prewett said. “I was 23-years old, and he believed in me. He took me on as a defensive coordinator, and I was one of the youngest people in the state to have that job at that point. I obviously wouldn’t be here if not for Matt Kemper. He brought me up and mentored me along the way.”
Prewett, 29, said it is a privilege to take over the Roswell program as it prepares for its 71st season.
“It’s a huge honor to be head coach at such a storied and great program in the state of Georgia,” he said.
Roswell’s hiring from within could be an added boon with coronavirus cancelling spring football and summer workouts likely to be cut short.
“I think there is a huge plus side that it is not such a huge transition,” Prewett said. “Having someone [the players] trust and know is a huge deal. And I’m excited. I’ve built so many good relationships with the kids and I am going to continue to grow them.”
Building those relationships is key, Prewett said.
“I view myself as a relationship coach,” he said. “The kids aren’t going to care what I know until they know I care about them, and I have a personal investment in them on and off the field.”
Taking over all aspects of a team will be a changeup for the defensively minded coach. Not much will change on defense, but Prewett said the offense will likely be a heavy run/pass option with an emphasis on physical play next season.
“We will definitely throw the ball and pound the ball when we need to,” he said. “We are going to make people respect us horizontally and vertically, not just in the box.”
The focus at the moment is not on football, Prewett said, but on ensuring everyone at Roswell is healthy and completing their schoolwork.
“Right now, we are juggling being a teacher, a counselor and a coach, we’re trying to help everyone out as much as we can,” he said.
But when the GHSA gives the all clear, Prewett is ready to hit the ground running.
“My wife and I are so excited, and we are excited to get the Roswell community involved with the program,” he said.
Prewett is the 13th head coach for Roswell. His hiring puts the program back in the tradition of naming new head coaches from within the school. Kemper was the first head coach hired from outside the program in 62 years when he signed on in 2017. Under Kemper, Roswell compiled a 20-13 overall record with two region championships and three playoff appearances in three seasons.
Prewett is a graduate of Houston County High School and played football at LaGrange College.