Shaun Conley could best describe Thursday as a whirlwind.
Following the announcement that the 25-year veteran would be new head coach at Chestatee High, he took a steady stream of phone calls congratulating him on the new position.
Conley, who has been the quarterback coach at Peachtree Ridge the past two seasons, also made it over to Chestatee during the day to meet with the school’s administration and prospective players at the high school and middle school.
“I’m very excited right now,” said Conley, a first-time head coach. “I’m very appreciative of this opportunity they’ve given me here at Chestatee.”
Originally from Blairsville, Conley has spent almost half of his coaching career in Hall County. He was on board with head coach Lee Shaw when Flowery Branch opened in 2002 and helped guide the program to nine consecutive playoff appearances.
As offensive coordinator his entire tenure at Flowery Branch, Conley coached quarterbacks Jaybo Shaw followed by Connor Shaw between 2004-2009. As head of a wide-open, spread offense under Conley, the Falcons made it to the Class AAA state championship game in 2008, then the state semifinals the following season.
Conley has also coached for eight seasons at White County, and three seasons at Union County.
Conley said he’d been interested in making the transition to becoming a head coach. He said the allure of coming back to Hall County seemed a perfect fit.
Conley feels ready for this move up to, as he put it, the ‘hot seat’ after working for a number of strong coaches since 1990.
The new Chestatee coach said Lee Shaw, now at Rabun County, Union County’s Brian Allison and Peachtree Ridge’s Mark Fleetwood are all head coaches he’s admired and will try to emulate their achievements.
Despite Chestatee’s 0-10 finish in 2015, Conley said the players in the program have already made a favorable impression.
“The work ethic is already in place,” said Conley, who is the fourth head coach in Chestatee history. “We’re just going to try to make it even better.”
Conley takes over for two-year coach Bill Forman, who resigned at the end of the 2015 season.