Clayton County

Terry Herrod out as Riverdale football coach

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RIVERDALE, Ga.  — After five seasons at the helm of the Riverdale High football program, coach Terry Herrod was dismissed as head coach Thursday, but will retain his position as the school’s athletic director through the end of the school year. 

Herrod came to the Clayton County school in 2013 after a stint as Dutchtown’s defensive coordinator. He finished with a 17-30 mark through five season, with one playoff appearance coming in the 2016 season. Riverdale ended the 2017 campaign with a 1-9 record, although the Raiders fielded a young team, including a freshman quarterback in Avaun Rucker.

The coach said he was told his firing was due to a lack of wins and failure to field a good-sized National Signing Day class this year, although he also acknowledged that there was no indication that he had to win a certain amount of games or sign a certain number of kids to keep his job.

“The first discussion I’ve heard of those reasons was today,” Herrod said. “I did not meet with anyone at all during the season, or not even at the conclusion of the season.”

Herrod said he only had three seniors who probably could’ve signed and one of them was on the verge of likely choosing a junior college, but didn’t make it a signing day decision as he and his family were still taking visits.

Despite his dismissal, Herrod said he’s upbeat and has no animosity to anyone at the school regarding the decision.

“You’ve gotta win games,” Herrod said. “And I guess we just didn’t win enough. That’s the way it goes. But I will say this: The thing you hate it for is the kids, especially in a situation where you’re more than just the coach. You’re the AD as well. But I’m very appreciative for the last five years. We’ve been able to build relationships and help kids continue playing football in college after having a good experience in high school, whether they continued to play football or not.

“We had the chance to teach them things that we hoped helped them, and we’re very appreciative to have had the opportunity to be head coach.”

Herrod made it clear that he’s not being pushed away from the school, but he said he wants to voluntarily move totally out of the way to give whomever his successor will be an opportunity to have a smooth transition.

“Nobody’s forcing me to leave Riverdale,” Herrod said. “But you need to give the successor enough space to implement what they need to do, so it feels like it’s best for me to move on.

It’s all still fresh for Herrod, so he says he hasn’t had much time to fully process things. But he acknowledged that he wants no parts of leaving the classroom or the sidelines.

“Everything’s still new, so I haven’t had a lot of time think about it,” he said. “But the most important thing is I want to stay in education,” he said. “I’d also like the opportunity to continue to coach.”

 

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