VIDALIA, Ga. (WTOC) -Vidalia head football coach Lee Chomskis has stepped down and will be taking over the football program at Lincoln County.
Chomskis announced his departure Wednesday, ending his 13-year run as the Indians head coach.
“I’m excited about the opportunity, but I’m also heartbroken to leave here," he says.
Vidalia went 101-45 in Chomskis’ tenure, making him the second-most winning coach in school history. The Indians reached the state playoffs 10 times, reaching the state quarterfinals in 2014, and won two region championships under Chomskis.
The Augusta native will take over one of the state’s small school powers in Lincolnton. The Red Devils have won 11 state titles, their final two in 2005 and 2006 when Chomskis was an assistant coach with the program.
For Chomskis, the ties to Lincolnton were too hard to say no to.
" I grew up in Lincolnton. [Former LC head coach and winningest coach in Georgia high school football history] Larry Campbell was my little league baseball coach. My mother was homecoming queen there. There’s a lot of family history there," he says. “My mother lives 40 miles away from there. My son just took a job there. He’s a first year coach in Lincolnton. My daughter’s going to be living in Birmingham, AL and Lincoln County is about 20 minutes from I-20.”
The Indians had 17 players named All-State during his tenure, and 25 sign college football scholarships. But Chomskis says he’s proudest to see his players grow into young men.
He teared up briefly as he descibed Wednesday’s meeting informing the team of his departure.
“Probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do," he says, fighting back tears. "Those kids mean the world to me. The most important thing about it is they know that. They know I love them. and they’re going to be fine. I told them when I was leaving that there is a great football team in this room.”
Vidalia High officials say the search for Chomskis’ successor will begin soon, but they hope to hire “someone cut from the same cloth.”