Even through the lean years, Jason Roquemore was the constant ambassador for the Johnson High football program during his seven-year stint as its head coach.
The Knights saw the fruits of his high-energy personality with a 4-6 mark in 2018 — including a three-game winning streak early in the season.
Now, Roquemore is ready for his next challenge.
On Friday, Roquemore stepped down as Knights coach, the same day he accepted the same role at Towns County High in Hiawassee.
“Honestly, this is the most difficult decision my family and I have had to make professionally,” said Roquemore, who leaves with a 16-54 overall mark in Oakwood.
The Johnson High administration, including athletics director Jonathan Edwards and principal Stan Lewis, will begin the search to replace Roquemore, who revived the program after back-to-back winless seasons in 2016 and 2017. Behind senior quarterback Sam Corbett, Johnson snapped a 24-game losing streak by beating Oglethorpe County, 38-0, on Aug. 18 in Lexington.
“For seven years, I have had the honor of working alongside Jason Roquemore and watching him work with others to shape and mold the lives of so many young people,” Lewis said. “He has played a critical role in helping us develop a culture at Johnson High School that benefits all students. His impact goes far beyond the football program and will be a permanent part of our school and community in moving forward. Jason is a special coach who, quite frankly, has the courage to see the bigger picture and refuses to allow character to take a back seat to the scoreboard. He has changed the lives of many for the better, and that includes me. I will miss my friend. We all will miss him, and we wish him and his family all the best as they begin this new leg of their journey.”
Even with the move, Roquemore said he’ll maintain close bonds with players, coaches and school administration he worked with for the better part of a decade.
“Even though my location may change, the relationships I’ve formed here at Johnson will endure,” Roquemore said.
After winning the 2018 opener, Johnson strung together wins against Cherokee Bluff, Riverside Military and Cross Keys. Its only loss in the first half of the season was against West Hall.
Roquemore feels that a culture has been put in place for Johnson’s football program to be successful for many years to come.
“I think the best years of football at Johnson are still ahead of them,” said Roquemore.