David Sokol is coming back to Forsyth County.
The former South Forsyth boys basketball coach will take the same position at North Forsyth, replacing Brian Moon who resigned this past February after seven seasons. Sokol’s hire was approved at Tuesday’s Forsyth County Schools board meeting.
Sokol has led three different area schools to the state tournament in his 16 seasons as a head coach. Most recently, he led Flowery Branch this past season, his fifth, to the program’s first state tournament victory since 2008, and he guided Winder-Barrow to a first-round appearance in 2010, his first of four seasons at the school.
But most of Sokol’s success came at South from 2002-09 when he led the program to the state tournament four times and won first-round games three times.
Those, of course, were different times for Forsyth County basketball. West Forsyth had just opened in 2007. Lambert opened the year after Sokol left for Winder-Barrow. South played in the same region as some of the top programs from DeKalb and Gwinnett counties like Marist and Tucker and eventually Norcross.
“Day in and day out, we were having college coaches call me, and it wasn’t about our South Forsyth players,” Sokol said. “It was extremely difficult.”
Sokol returns to the county with a changed boys basketball landscape. Lambert has ascended to become the premier program, advancing to the second round of the state tournament the past four seasons, while South and West have reached the state tournament for three and two consecutive years, respectively. All of the county’s public schools now compete in the same region in Class 7A.
North, meanwhile, has struggled. The Raiders haven’t reached the state tournament since 2006 and went 6-19 this past season.
“It’s going to be a great challenge for us to do some things there,” Sokol said. “Just looking forward to getting started.”
Sokol is no stranger to Coal Mountain and some of North’s administration. He was an assistant coach under former Raiders boys’ head coach Bobby Smith from 1994-96 before leaving to be an assistant at Georgia College, and North athletic director Scott Tilden was one of Sokol’s assistants at South and Flowery Branch.
Those connections helped with Sokol’s decision to leave Flowery Branch, along with the proximity to his home – “It’s eight miles from my house,” he said – and the chance to again work in the Forsyth County Schools system.
“Just blessed to be back,” Sokol said.