Frank Barden Named New Football Coach At SCHS

Frank Barden is returning to Stephens County High School to take over the Indian football program.

The former SCHS assistant football coach was named head football coach and athletic director at Stephens County High School at a called Board of Education meeting Thursday.

The vote was unanimous by the board, save for Tony Crunkleton, who abstained from the vote.

This is a great hire for Stephens County, said School Superintendent Sherrie Whiten.

“His passion is not only coaching, but developing young men to become better,” said Whiten.  “I think that is what stood out.  (He is) very dynamic (and) going to be really involved in the community.  We are excited about having him.”

Not only winning games, but developing character, was an important part of the search, said Whiten.

Stephens County High School Principal Sandy Steele is also excited to welcome Barden to the school.

“First of all, he is a great football coach,” said Steele.  “He has a lot of experience over the years of winning and doing the right thing by the students and the student-athletes.  It is a win for us to have him be able to come here.”

Barden was an assistant football coach and teacher at Stephens County High School from 1987 to 1994.

While Barden was an assistant, Stephens County made the state semi-finals three times and the state championship once.

For the last 18 years, Barden has been the head football coach at Cartersville High School.

While at Cartersville, Barden amassed a record of 154-58-1.  He won a state championship in 1999.

Besides his time at Stephens County and Cartersville, Barden has also previously been a head coach at Pickens County High School and an assistant coach at Habersham Central.

Barden also served as athletic director at Cartersville from 1996 through 2009.

Steele says he is also comfortable with Barden filling both the football coach and athletic director roles at Stephens County High School.

“He is committed to all sports and committed to the overall success of the system,” said Steele about Barden doing both jobs at Stephens County.  “I feel very good about combining those two roles with this individual.”

Whiten also feels very good about Barden serving in both positions, she said.

For his part,  it was a tough decision to leave Cartersville, Barden said, but he added it was the right time to make this move.

“It is an opportunity for me to come back to that area,” said Barden.  “There are a lot of people that my family has had the opportunity of getting to know and building relationships with and being close to family.”

Barden is also very impressed with all of the facilities at Stephens County, he said.

“When I saw the new school,  I mean I was floored,” said Barden.  “What you have put there is second to none.”

He is also excited about working with Steele, the administration, and the coaches already on staff, he said.

On the field, Barden said he will tailor his offense and defense to the personnel on the team.

He is looking forward to the challenge of Region 8-AAAA next year, which includes seven teams that went to the state football playoffs in either AAA or AAAA this past season.

“It sets the bar for us,” said Barden of the schedule.

His goal is to just continue the tradition already in place at the Reservation, one he remembers from all the way back in his playing days at Habersham Central and his previous time in Toccoa.

“I look forward to Friday nights when that band comes off of that hill, marching and playing and the excitement,” said Barden.  “I love Toccoa.”

Barden is expected to start at Stephens County on March 10.

He replaces Travis Noland, who resigned last month to take the head football coaching position at Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Georgia.

Both Whiten and Steele thanked the search committee for its work and added that the school had many excellent candidates to choose from.

Listen to AM 630 WNEG’s Ken Brady Interview New Football Coach Frank Barden below: