Thomasville native Jeremy Rayburn is returning to South Georgia.
The Miller County school board affirmed Rayburn as its new head football coach with a majority vote on Monday.
Rayburn, the 1996 graduate of Thomasville High School, has manned the offense of 2-AAAA Mary Persons (Forsyth, Ga.) as its coordinator the last seven years – all of which yielded winning seasons. Under his watch, Mary Persons went 10-3, scored 33 touchdowns and averaged 331.4 yards per game last fall.
Rayburn plans to continue a run-first approach to the Pirates’ attack with multiple I-formations and sprinkles of a spread.
“That’s where we’re going to start,” he said. “Whether we stay there or move to something different remains to be seen. If you handcuff yourself and say ‘this is what we’re going to do,’ you limit yourself in the long run.”
Rayburn added that spring practice will platform almost exclusively as an evaluation period to assess talent and depth. He’s also blueprinted a summer workout schedule, where he plans to install his playbook while conducting workouts three days a week in June and four in July.
“We’re already behind the eight-ball a little bit,” he said. “We want to be ready to go as soon as the GHSA says we can start practicing.”
The coach, who noted that no one from Mary Persons will be joining him at Miller County, has yet to fully collate his staff.
Rayburn replaces Frank Killingsworth, who, after an 18-year tenure as an assistant or head coach, resigned in January to follow other opportunities. Killingsworth led the Pirates to a 51-30 record during his seven years at the helm, including last fall’s 4-6 campaign, which snapped a six season streak of trips to the postseason.
“My biggest [goal] is creating an atmosphere that those kids want to be a part of and one that can get the community back behind support,” Rayburn said.