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Bob Sphire steps down as Camden County football coach

Crowds of spectators at a high school football game in Camden County on Sept. 4, 2020.
Crowds of spectators at a high school football game in Camden County on Sept. 4, 2020. (Copyright 2020 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Camden County is on the hunt for a new football coach.

Bob Sphire resigned on Thursday, creating a vacancy at one of the more prominent programs in Georgia. Sphire is headed to coach at Highlands High in Fort Thomas, Ky. Sphire grew up in Brandenburg, Ky. and won a state championship as a coach at Lexington Catholic in 2005.

“Growing up in Kentucky and coaching in this state for as long as I did, I know firsthand that Highlands is one of the best schools, academically and athletically, in the Commonwealth,” Sphire said in a statement from the school district. “Its tradition of excellence speaks for itself. The football program is built around champions and championships. And I can’t wait to work with the tremendous young men in the program.”

It is the first coaching change in the South Georgia area this offseason among the six schools in the coverage area — Brunswick, Charlton County, Glynn Academy, Pierce County and Ware County.

Camden County Schools superintendent John Tucker confirmed Sphire’s resignation in a statement.

“We are sorry to see Coach Sphire’s time at Camden County High School come to an end. We are grateful for the investment he has made in our football program and the indelible impact he has had on our players, both and athletes and as young men of character,” Tucker said.

“We wish Coach Sphire and his family all the best in their next chapter and we remain grateful for his time leading the Wildcats.”

It is the seventh change among schools in the News4Jax region. Local schools Episcopal, Interlachen, Menendez, Middleburg, Palatka and Ponte Vedra have all hired, or are in the process of hiring, new coaches. Menendez filled its head coaching opening Thursday.

Sphire spent four seasons leading the Wildcats, reaching the state playoffs in the last three. He has a 279-103 record as a head coach over 32 seasons, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.

Sphire took over for Welton Coffey in 2017 after Coffey was promoted from head football coach to athletic director. Coffey spent four seasons as Camden’s head coach after being promoted from defensive coordinator to replace Jeff Herron.

Herron had an exceptional run at Camden, going 158-18 with three state championships in 13 seasons.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.