South Forsyth didn't have to look far for its next football coach, as the War Eagles promoted Troy Morris to head coach on Monday.
Morris previously served as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator and arrived at South in 2010 with former head coach Jeff Arnette.
Arnette announced his resignation Dec. 7 after guiding the War Eagles to a 68-50 record across 11 seasons, becoming the program's all-time leader in wins.
"Being under Coach Arnette for 11 years here at South — I've actually been with him a couple other places — I could talk all night about all the things I've learned about being a head coach under him," Morris said. "I've followed him to three different schools and just have a ton of admiration for him."
Morris spent three seasons as head coach at Social Circle before joining South, compiling a 12-21 record from 2007-09 and reaching the playoffs each year.
"To be honest with you, recently I've started getting the urge to be a head coach again," Morris said. "For whatever reason, things worked out like they did."
He'll inherit a South team that finished 5-4 last season and reached the postseason for the seventh straight year, a Forsyth County record.
Morris believes his familiarity with the program will help mitigate the growing pains that tend to follow first-year head coaches.
"I think it helps a ton being around the school, the administration, the community, the kids, the same coaching staff," he said. "All of those things, just the familiarity is huge. There's not some major shock. I think we have a good thing going, and there's not going to be any major, major changes philosophy-wise or anything like that. I think there's definitely that comfort level for me and the kids, and just what to expect from our program."
Morris has four children, including junior Gavin Morris and sophomore Clara Morris.
South will lose 22 seniors to graduation this year, including the team's top two receivers in Mitch Thompson (38 catches, 946 yards, 11 TDs) and Devin McGlockton (42 receptions, 685 yards, nine TDs).
"We lose some key guys in this senior class for sure," Morris said. "We did play a lot of guys this year and we do have a lot of guys with experience and starters coming back. A lot of young guys got in and got experience, so I'm excited about it. I really am. We had a great JV season, we had a great freshman season, so the lower programs did really well and we think there's a lot of talent coming."
Morris also said he expects South's coaching staff to remain the same next season.
"It's going to look really similar," he said. "Everybody's planning on staying and keeping it intact, which I think is huge for our school and for our program.
This story has been updated.