DAHLONEGA — David Dowse, coach for the Class 3A No. 1-ranked Lumpkin County girls, stepped down Sunday, effective immediately, as AccessWDUN was told by school officials.
The Lady Indians (2-0) had barely begun their season with wins over Flowery Branch and Morgan County. They are scheduled to take on Class 6A No. 3 Buford on Monday as part of the Jackson-EMC Tipoff Classic in Jefferson.
That game is set for 3 p.m. at The Arena at Jefferson High School.
“At 4:30 this afternoon, I officially resigned my position as head coach of the Lumpkin WBB program," Dowse said in a release on the school system's website. "The decision came after some soul-searching and prayer and was 100 percent my decision. I was in no way shape or form influenced or coerced by anyone affiliated with the Lumpkin County School System. I’m sure that most will never understand how I could walk away from the No. 1 ranked team in Georgia -- a young and talented group. For me, the answer lies in the fact that TEAM success is irrelevant and unrewarding if accomplished without the right core values. The things that I hold dear, and those which, in my mind, make coaching a team sport special have deteriorated to the point where I can no longer justify the time, effort and frustrations of “fighting the good fight." For me, the concept of TEAM > me is simply non-negotiable. When that message is met with resistance on multiple levels, effective leadership is no longer feasible. And so I’ve chosen to walk away.”
Dowse was into his fifth season at Lumpkin County and was 70-40, including the two games this season. He also led the Lady Indians to the Class 3A semifinals last season, and they are expected to be a title contender again this season.
The statement also said Billy Kirk, Lumpkin County principal, handled practice on Sunday.
"Although today’s resignation was unplanned and a surprise to all, the LCHS administrative team is working to fill the gap in this short-term and developing a plan for the long-term," the statement said.
AccessWDUN will update this story when/if we receive any new information.