Dawson County boys basketball coach Chad Pittman is hanging up his whistle for a garden shovel and a fishing pole.
Pittman announced Monday night at the team's banquet that he will be retiring from coaching. He will stay on with Dawson County as a teacher.
“I love it over here,” he said. “It’s been great for me – it’s been a great three years. I’m going to finish my next five or six years of teaching and cheering and spend more time with my family. You know, a coach wears a lot of hats and the hats I’m going to try to wear in the near future are being a better dad, a better husband, a good fisherman and a good gardener. You know, those are the things I’m going to try to focus on and reprioritize my life a little bit.”
In three seasons at the helm of the program, Pittman was 60-29 with three-straight state playoff berths.
This season, Pittman led the Tigers to a 27-5 record, the Region 7-3A championship and the Class 3A semifinals — the best finish in school history.
“We had a great group this season – the stars kind of aligned,” he said. “I kid with you guys all the time about being so blessed with the move-ins last spring. I thought we were going to have a pretty good group coming back anyways but, then, of course, the good Lord, I think, has such a great sense of humor sometimes that it took 23 years to get the move-ins and he gave me some I’ll never forget.”
Last spring, the transfer of juniors Jasper Gibson and Eli Burruss and seniors Luke Chism and Ahmad Kamara immediately created buzz around northeast Georgia and completely changed the landscape of Tiger basketball. It also shot the Tigers up in the state-wide rankings, beginning the season in the top-five.
The four players mixed in nicely with returning starter Campbell Reed and off-the-bench scorers Tate Adkins, Brody Howell and Max Tierney.
The Tigers will return Gibson, Burruss, Reed, Howell and Adkins along with Mason Barnes and Tierney as key players for next season.
“It’s been a magical ride — the best season ever,” he said. “For me as a coach, for me as a person, the kids are great — high-quality character kids to work with. There are so many things that people learn from high school athletics,” He said. “There are so many life lessons. So for me to get to be a part of that for these young men and women over the last 23 years, it’s been a blessing. I’ve had a great ride, it’s just now time for somebody else to get on the roller coaster.”
Pittman came to Dawson County three years ago from Chestatee High School after stints coaching the Duluth girls and Jackson County girls programs.