With athletic director Grady Turner retiring at the end of the school year, Dawson County High School has an important void to fill on their staff. That void was filled Wednesday when Jefferson High School’s Jason Gibson was announced as Turner’s successor.
“I’m really excited,” Gibson said. “I think Dawson County is a unique place. I love the fact that it’s a one-school system county. Everybody in that county is all for Dawson County. All things Dawson and that’s always a good thing.
“Their sports program has a rich history. It’s been successful on many levels and everything seems to be kind of going in the right direction…It’s an opportunity to come in and hopefully to continue the success and maybe improve some things in certain areas. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity to be up there and to work with all the coaches.”
Gibson has coached multiple sports and multiple levels. He was the men’s basketball head coach at Emmanuel College and the cross-country head coach at the University of North Georgia. At Jefferson, Gibson has been the girls’ basketball head coach for the last 12 years and has served as the offense coordinator for the football team, but an athletic director position is something Gibson has had his eye on for a while now.
“Going into administration is always something I’ve been interested in,” said Gibson, a graduate of the University of North Georgia and Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee. “I’ve had my leadership degree for 11 years and that’s the route that I always thought I would go.”
The idea of bringing Gibson on as Dawson County High School’s next athletic director was first mentioned when his Lady Dragons team traveled to Dawson County for the first game of the girls’ basketball season in mid-November. There was a discussion that night and the idea grew from there.
Of course, with a wife and three children, changing jobs isn’t always the easiest decision but the timing to make the move was either now or never for Gibson.
“My wife and I both have eight years before we could potentially retire,” Gibson said. “And this is not the kind of move you want to make at the very end of your career.
“Obviously, when you’ve got kids involved, it’s hard to pick the right time to do something like this but with my oldest (son) having two years of high school left, my middle (son) going into the eight grade, we just felt like if we were going to make a move like this then that would allow all of them to finish their careers in Dawson which would be a great place to raise a family and a great opportunity for them academically and athletically.”
In addition to his two sons, Gibson also has a daughter about to enter the third grade. And while he is excited to take over the sports scene at Dawson County High School, don’t expect many major changes.
“I’m definitely not looking to come in and make any drastic changes,” Gibson said. “I think the first couple years, I’m going to listen a lot and react slow and just try to make the best decisions for the program in general. Obviously, we’re going to do what’s best for the student athlete, but at the same time there’s been such a string of success over the last 8-10 years, and I definitely don’t want to upset that.”