Portal tabs Coffee assistant as next head football coach

Bulloch County Schools announced Thursday night that the next head football coach for the Portal Panthers has been hired: Jason McEachin.

Portal tabs Coffee assistant as next head football coach
Portal Head Football Coach Jason McEachin (Source: Bulloch County Schools)

PORTAL, Ga. (WTOC) - Bulloch County Schools announced Thursday night that the next head football coach for the Portal Panthers has been hired: Jason McEachin. The Board of Education approved monthly personnel recommendations from the superintendent, which included the hiring. He will officially join the school’s faculty and athletic program on July 8.

“I am pleased to announce that Coach Jason McEachin has been named the new head football coach of the Portal Panthers,” said Justin Chester, the school’s assistant principal and athletic director in a press release. “We’re excited to welcome the McEachin family to our Panther family.”

McEachin has more than 14 years of football coaching experience. Most recently, he served as an assistant coach for Coffee County High School’s varsity football team since 2018, working with tight ends, half backs and wide receivers. The Trojans reached the GHSA 6A quarterfinals in 2018 and 2019, and the 5A semifinals in 2020. He has previously coached in Toombs County, Emanuel County, as served an offensive coordinator at Swainsboro High School. While with the Tigers, McEachin helped lead their team to three consecutive playoff berths from 2014-2016, and 21 of his offensive line players received all-region recognition.

“I have loved this game since I was five years old, and I have dreamed of being a head football coach for a long time,” said McEachin in the release. “As soon as I heard the position was open I felt an immediate draw to it. I discussed it with my wife, we started praying, and everything from there just fell into place. I’ve heard great things about the administration, Dr. (Julie) Blackmar and Mr. (Justin) Chester, the school, the students and the community.”

“Coach McEachin exceeded our expectations,” said Chester. “We look forward to all he will bring to our football program and our school. He has the knowledge and experience needed to build a solid football program, instill confidence, and help build strong character within our young men so they will be successful both in and out of the classroom.”

According to the release, 14 candidates applied for the position, and the search committee, made up of administrators, teachers, alumni, parents, and boosters, interviewed six.

“We were pleased with the level of interest in the position and the number of highly-qualified applicants,” said Chester.

The district said in the release that the school’s major goal for the football program is to increase participation.

“We want to encourage any student who has ever thought about playing football to come out and be a part of our team,” Chester said.

“The game of football provides a tremendous platform for coaches to teach life lessons while teaching the game,” said McEachin.

In addition to serving as head coach, McEachin will oversee all football operations for the school which as a combined middle and high school campus has varsity, junior varsity, and middle school football teams. He will teach weight training which is part of the school’s physical education courses.

”As a Portal alumnus, a goal close to my heart is to see our community get more involved than ever as we make this transition with our football program,” said Chester. “Six of our varsity athletic programs have a solid chance to make the GHSA state playoffs this year. I want our community to continue to support the good things we have going on in our school. It is great to be a Portal Panther.”

“As I am building these relationships, I want the players, and their families, to know that I care about their success on a much broader level than just football,” McEachin said. “I will also make sure that our players are getting exposure for what they do well, both on the field and in the community.”

The Panthers went winless in the 2020 season.

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