Jeff Littleton rumored to be hired as next Tift County High School head football coach

Published 11:03 pm Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Bainbridge High School head football coach Jeff Littleton is rumored to have been hired by Tift County High School as their next head football coach, first reported by Rural Athletes on Facebook. 

“Rural Athletes can confirm the end of the Tift County Head Coach search,” Rural Athletes wrote in a Facebook post. “The next Head Coach of Tift County HS. Jeff Littleton is our crystal ball prediction… Official tomorrow afternoon.”

The Tift County Board of Education is holding a “special meeting” at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday).

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“It is anticipated that the new football coach will be named,” wrote the Tift County Booster Club on Facebook, referring to the meeting. “Players are invited to attend the meeting and meet with the coach following the meeting.” 

Littleton capped his 11th season with Bainbridge in 2023. He has accrued a 72-36 (67%) regular season record and a 19-10 (66%) playoff record so far with the Bearcats and led them to a state championship and five region championships. His region record at Bainbridge is 40-12 (77%), and he won four straight region championships from 2020-2023.

Littleton faced the Tift County Blue Devils twice so far in his Bainbridge tenure, losing both meetings. The Bearcats fell to Tift County 31-14 in 2018 and 6-24 in 2019.

The Blue Devil’s head coaching vacancy was left by previous head coach Noel Dean. Dean announced he would not return as the school’s head coach midway through the 2023 season. He made the decision amid backlash from Blue Devil fans. A petition, created by a handful of parents of Tift County players, circulated throughout the community, seeking signatures in support of removing Dean from his coaching duties, according to Phil Jones of

“It became apparent to me that with some of the things that had gone on in our community in the last week and a half, I have some folks who had not expressed the truth on some things,” Dean said on an ITGNext podcast. “Things have become so confrontational that it has just got to the point where it’s so toxic,” 

Dean announced his intentions in a letter to the Tift County School district and said the decision came “with a heavy heart and a deep sense of gratitude” for the experiences he had during his tenure.

“I will forever treasure the memories, the camaraderies and the growth we’ve experienced as a team,” Dean said.

Dean coached three seasons at Tift County, accruing a 9-22 regular season record. The Blue Devils finished with a 2-8 record under Dean in 2023— and were 1-4 when Dean announced he wouldn’t return as head coach.