Monday was a bittersweet day for Southwest football head coach and athletics director Carror Wright.
Wright announced Monday morning that he will retire from coaching and teaching at the end of this school year. He has been a head coach for 17 seasons in Georgia and finished his career with an 82-102 record.
“I’m leaving with sound mind and body, and that’s good. I have my health, and I have worked with some great coaches, administrators and kids,” Wright said. “On a sad note, it’s not like I’m just leaving a school and going to another one. I’m leaving the game I love and leaving the kids altogether, so that is difficult.”
Wright began his coaching career as an assistant at Johnson County in 1979 and later was an assistant at Worth County and Lowndes.
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He has been the head coach for the Patriots since 2007 and led the team to a 23-39 record and had one winning season and two playoff appearances. Southwest went 8-3 in 2008 -- Wright’s second season -- after a 1-9 record in his first year in 2007. The 2008 campaign resulted in the Patriots' first winning season since 1989 and equaled the program record for wins. It remains just one of three seasons in Southwest's 42-year history with at least eight wins.
"We've just been blessed to be at Southwest," Wright said. "To get to the playoffs two times and be a game away from the playoffs a couple of more seasons, we've been able to do so many things we hoped to do."
Wright also was the head coach at Northeast for seven seasons and went 33-43 from 1997-2003. After going 3-27 the first three seasons, the Raiders turned things around and reached the playoffs in Wright’s final four seasons with the program. Northeast went 9-3 in 2001 and 2002.
He was replaced with the Raiders by Bruce Mullen, one of his assistants, and the Raiders have gone to the playoffs five times with Mullen in charge, including the past two seasons.
"They just keep rocking and rolling over there, and I'm proud of that," Wright said. "We had some great years over at Northeast, and those guys who stayed on that staff have continued to do a great job."
In between his stints at Northeast and Southwest, Wright headed to Dougherty for three seasons, and his second Trojans team went 13-2, losing to Peach County in the GHSA Class AAA championship game. Wright started his head coaching career at Terrell County in 1996.
He said he hopes someone on his current Southwest staff will get a shot at replacing him when he retires but that no decision has been made.
"It's been a great career," Wright said. "We had success at a lot of different places, and we did things the right way. We always wanted people to walk into a school and know who the athletes were and to be proud of that."