SUWANEE — The man who helped transform North Gwinnett football into a state title contender is leaving the Bulldogs.
Bob Sphire was announced as the new head coach at Camden County on Tuesday, ending an 11-year run that was by far the most successful in North Gwinnett history.
In 2006 Sphire took charge of a Bulldogs program that had produced just 14 winning seasons over the previous 45 seasons. He leaves with a record of 110-28, including state championship appearances in 2007 and 2013 and five region championships (2009-11, 2013-14) -- all within the highest classification in the state. Sphire's North Gwinnett teams won 10 or more games eight times, and they finished without a winning record and missed out on the state playoffs just once, 2015.
The Bulldogs went 6-5 in 2016.
Sphire takes over a Camden County team that won three state championships after the turn of the millenium (2003, '08 and '09) and won 10 or more games for 13 straight campaigns -- but has since stumbled, going 2-7 in 2016.
North Gwinnett joins Jefferson and White County as northeast Georgia programs currently looking for head football coaches. Buford and Flowery Branch recently filled vacancies, with Ben Hall leaving Jefferson for the Falcons and John Ford taking over the Wolves from Roswell.