Bearcat football begins search for head coach vacancy left by Jeff Littleton

Published 7:00 pm Friday, March 1, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Bearcats are in the midst of a coaching search to replace a head coaching vacancy left by Jeff Littleton’s move to Tift County. The school has received “a ton” of applications for the job, according to Bainbridge High School Athletic Director Chris Bryant.

“We’ve had some really good, quality candidates apply,” Bryant said. “We’re excited to see what happens.”

Bryant said he and a team of reviewers have been working through the applications to make the hiring process as quick as possible.

Email newsletter signup

“We have a few of us that have been going through these applications, trying to narrow it down,” Bryant said. “Obviously, there’s not enough time to interview all of the people, but we’ll get it down to a manageable number so we can hopefully start interviewing pretty quick and get someone in here.”

Bryant said they’re looking for someone who will “continue” what Littleton did at Bainbridge and the “program he’s built.”

“Bainbridge has been a winning football team for a long time,” Bryant said. “And a big tradition in Bainbridge has been our football team. Just to take that and continue growing this program and these kids, and investing in these kids not only in the weight room and on the field, but in the school as well… [Littleton] was big on that. If you can’t get it done in the school, you can’t get it done on the field.”

Bryant said there’s no official timeline for the hire, but he wants to have it narrowed down to a few top candidates “in the next couple of weeks.”

An external coaching search is a more common method to finding the Bearcats’ next head coach, but Bryant said they’re not ruling out a promotion for anyone on the current coaching staff. If they do hire internally, here are the potential candidates in the Bainbridge locker room.

Joe Dollar

Joe Dollar served as the Bearcats’ Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach in 2023. With the “Assistant Head Coach” title, Dollar would seem to be an obvious candidate to replace Littleton. On top of that, Littleton was a defensive-minded coach, so Dollar’s defensive expertise would be familiar in the program.

Dollar has coached nine years at Bainbridge High School and spent 10 years on the Thomas County Central coaching staff prior. Dollar is a graduate of Bainbridge High School.

Mike Harville

Mike Harville served as the Bearcats’ Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach in 2023. Harville has 43 years of coaching under his belt, nine years have been spent in Bainbridge. 

Harville has seven years of head coaching experience in highly competitive regions of Florida and Kentucky. He earned one regional championship and was voted regional coach of the year in ’93 and ’94 at North Laurel High School in Kentucky. As the head coach of DeLand High School in Florida, Harville’s quarterback was voted 1999 Gatorade 6A Player of the Year.

On top of his extensive high school coaching resume, Harville spent two years at the college level. He served as the Eastern Kentucky wide receiver’s coach in 1990 and 1991.

Brad Almon

Brad Almon served as the Bearcats’ Defensive Backs Coach in 2023. Almon has coached for two years at Bainbridge. Before the Bearcats, He was an assistant coach at Cairo High School and Coffee High School. 

Almon won a state championship in 2008 at Cairo as their assistant coach and coached the Syrupmakers to a state semifinal game in 2011. Almon served as the Coffee assistant head coach for four years before joining the Bearcats, helping the Trojans to a state semifinal game in 2020. 

Outside of coaching, Almon has experience as a football player at the college level. He played at Georgia Southern University and was a part of the Eagles’ consecutive Division 1AA Championships in 1989 and 1990.

Larry Cosby

Larry Cosby served as the Bearcats’ Running Backs Coach in 2023. Cosby has coached at Bainbridge for 18 years. 

Coach Cosby is a Bainbridge graduate Bearcat football alumni. Cosby went on to play running back at Tusculum College where he was a three-year letterman for the pioneers. 

Brian McCorkle

Brian McCorkle served as the Bearcats’ Defensive Line Coach in 2023. McCorkle has coached at Bainbridge for 16 years. 

Coach McCorkle coached at Albany High School and Pelham High School before becoming a Bearcat. He has also coached soccer, baseball and swimming.

Blake Cecil

Blake Cecil served as the Bearcats’ Wide Receivers Coach in 2023. Cecil has coached at Bainbridge for 11 years and had tenures at Adairsville High School and Cairo High School before Bainbridge

Justin Palmer

Justin Palmer served as the Bearcats’ Offensive Line Coach in 2023. Palmer has coached the Bearcats for nine years. 

Palmer is a 2009 graduate of Cairo High School.  He played offensive line for the Syrupmakers and continued his collegiate career at Valdosta State University.