GAINESVILLE — Cherokee Bluff has hired Chestatee boys coach Josh Travis to take the helm of its program, Bluff Athletic Director Kenny Hill announced on Wednesday.
The hire comes a week after former coach Benjie Wood left to take control of the Buford boys basketball team.
"One Bear Nation is very excited to announce Josh Travis as the next boys basketball head coach," Hill said. "We are ready to build on a strong foundation and know that Coach Travis can lead our program to the next level."
Travis, who coached Chestatee to a 20-34 record over the last two seasons with one Class 4A state tournament berth in his first season, said the success and the potential are what lured him to Cherokee Bluff.
“I’ve really grown to love Chestatee,” Travis said. “I wanted to stay here and coach the players here, but everybody has their inner circle that advises them … just everybody I talked to understood the future there (Bluff) … the potential that could happen there. So, it’s not anything negative on Chestatee, but there’s just a lot of potential and opportunity at Cherokee Bluff.”
Travis follows Wood, who, in three seasons, built the Bears from scratch, while leading them to a 49-35 record, a Region 7-3A runner-up regular-season finish in 2020-21, and back-to-back Class 3A second-round tournament appearances.
But Travis said he’s not afraid of being the guy that replaces a legend.
“I think some people don’t want to follow a good coach, because, I think, they think they can’t build up to it,” he said. “I think that’s ridiculous. You want to follow a good coach. You want to go somewhere where good things have been happening. Benjie is part of what attracted me to the job even though I won’t be working with him.
“You know, they made some major splashes when they opened the doors with some great coaches. Collectively, they have a great culture. I’m going to coach kids that play football, baseball, track, golf, etc. So, it’s not just following Benjie, it’s the Tommy Joneses and Jeremy Kemps of the world, too, that I’m going to be leaning on.”
Prior to leading the War Eagles, Travis spent 16 seasons as the assistant men's basketball coach at the University of North Georgia. Before UNG, he served as an assistant coach in the Reinhardt College basketball program.
Chestatee AD Matt Stowers confirmed the search for a new boys coach is underway.