Charley Chase is stepping down as the girls basketball head coach at FPD, the school announced Thursday.
Chase led the Vikings for the past six years, leading them to the GISA Class AAA championship in 2009. He went 102-62 in six seasons. His teams reached the state playoffs in two of their four seasons since joining the GHSA.
Chase cited a pair of surgeries that have slowed him down.
“While I am in good health, these past surgeries have left me less mobile than I had been,” Chase said. “Consequently, I can’t give 100 percent, and I believe that everything we do ought to be to the best of our ability. Reluctantly, I think it’s time for me to back away.”
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FPD went 16-9 last season and advanced to the playoffs. The Vikings played for the Region 7-A championship in each of the past two seasons, losing both times to Wilkinson County in the title game.
Chase also sat on the bench for a state championship while serving as an assistant to Philip McLeroy.
“Charley has just been super,” FPD athletics director Greg Moore said. “We’re all very thankful for the way he has led our girls basketball program, teaching and encouraging in a way that models our school’s mission.”
Former GMC girls head coach John Griffin will take over for Chase. Griffin was an assistant at FPD from 1996-2002 before leading the GMC program from 2003-2012. Griffin led the Bulldogs to the playoffs five times.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity,” Griffin said. “I have a love for coaching girls basketball and hope to continue leading this program to new heights.”
Griffin also served as a head coach at John Hancock from 1981-83. He coached at GMC from 1985-87 until returned in 2003. Griffin was the boys track and field head coach for the past two years at FPD and also served as an assistant in football and basketball.