Chestatee High principal Bill Thompson will begin a search immediately for a new boys basketball coach after former coach Russ Triaga resigned Thursday from his position he held the past six seasons with the War Eagles. Triaga resigned as Chestatee’s coach after accepting an assistant coaching position at Dacula High in Gwinnett County.
"I respect coach Triaga’s decision, appreciate the six years of service to the program and wish him the very best," Thompson said.
Triaga found coaching only 10-minutes from his home at Dacula too good of an opportunity to pass up. He says it’s a priority to be able to spend more time with his wife and children. The former Chestatee coach is also in the process of finishing his doctoral degree in education administration, with an expected completion date of Dec. 10.
Triaga feels like he accomplished all three goals he set for himself when he got to Chestatee: bring stability to the program, get the booster club headed in the right direction and win their fair share of games. Still, leaving a program he took over in its second season and saw to two state playoff appearances and a subregion title doesn’t come without some feelings attached.
"I’m leaving Chestatee with nothing but tremendous feelings about this school," Triaga said. "I wouldn’t trade the relationships I’ve had with these players for the past six years.
"I’ve poured my heart and soul into this program."
Triaga leaves Chestatee with an 82-74 overall record at the school. He returns to Gwinnett County, where he helped lead Berkmar to a Class AAAA state title in 2000. Dacula High principal Donnie Nutt officially offered Triaga the job on Thursday morning.
"I think it took me 3 seconds to accept the job," Triaga said. "I couldn’t be happier ... Dacula is a great school."
Triaga isn’t bashful to say he’d love to see Chestatee assistant coach Shumbe Hunter get his first head coaching opportunity but knows ultimately that is the decision for Thompson and athletics director Chip Underwood to make. Hunter came into the War Eagles program at the same time as Triaga.
"Shumbe’s been all in with me and this program for six years and has been the most loyal assistant coach I could’ve asked for," Triaga said. "I love him like a brother."