BLITZ Adds Six To ‘Legendary Coaches’ List
Annually, BLITZ reviews the local coaches and gathers information to consider induction into the ‘Legendary Coaches’ list. This compilation represents the top coaches among all sports from 2009-present solely in our coverage area. For some, it means establishing local roots and having success throughout a storied career. Still others have earned the distinction even if it came with only brief stops in our coverage area with a body of work that is without question some of the best in the state.
We have newly named 6 head coaches with BLITZ ‘Legendary Coaches’ honors. The 2021 class includes Sam Borg (White County cross country & basketball), David Dowse (Lumpkin girls basketball), Erick Herrick (Dawson girls basketball), Alan Hogan (Lumpkin girls tennis), Brady Sigler (Jefferson track & field), and Donny Williams (Stephens boys/girls tennis). Borg now coaches strictly cross country at North Hall, where he has filled out his resume with continued success. Dowse, Herrick, and Hogan all continue in their current positions. Sigler recently retired from Jefferson with an unbelievable career, while Williams retired from Stephens for the fourth and “final” time.
The newest 6 ‘Legendary Coaches’ join 24 previous coaches, thus bringing our total to 30 Legendary Coaches. Many other coaches are just a season or two from racking up even more success to join this illustrious group of individuals.
Sam Borg has been finding success everywhere he’s gone for nearly 20 years, coaching in both basketball and primarily in cross country. Borg has coached 6 years at West Hall (2006-11), 7 at White County (2011-18), and 3-and-counting at North Hall (2018-Present). In cross country, he has coached 14 podium teams (top 4), exactly 5 at each West Hall and White County, and 4 so far at North Hall. That includes coaching currently 5 individual state champions (Jenna Gearing/White County 2x; Devan Crow/North Hall; Andrew Jones/North Hall; Caylee Wagner/North Hall). He’s coached multiple All-State individuals at each stop. To date, he also has 11 Region Championships (6 at White [all girls], 5 at North Hall [2 boys, 3 girls]).
In basketball, he was the head assistant at West Hall for a program that won 126 games, a Lanierland Championship, and had 3 Sweet 16 runs. He took that experience to White County, where he was the head coach for 96 wins, 5 consecutive winning seasons, and 3 trips to state. He progressed the program from 6 wins his first season to 10, 17, 14, 17, 17, and finished with 15.
David Dowse currently brought to Lumpkin County a 241-142 career record across 14 seasons prior to coming to Dahlonega. He coached at McIntosh and Grayson, heading up the girls basketball teams there. At Lumpkin, he has adjusted his career W-L mark to 307-182.
He turned around a Lumpkin program that never had more than 7 wins in a season going back to 2006, and immediately in 2017-18 got them to 9 wins. What came after were seasons of 17, 15, and 25 wins, including two state playoff runs and a Final 4 appearance (’20-21) and a #1 state ranking, along with a region championship (2020-21). All told, Dowse has made the playoffs 11 times heading into the 2021-22 season.
Eric Herrick has coached 17 seasons over primarily girls basketball, and also has coached boys. In that span, he’s accumulated a 345-120 career record heading into the 2021-22 season. His stops include 2 seasons at White County, 4 at Chattahoochee, 8 at North Forsyth, and 2 at Dawson (including one season as boys coach).
His resume includes 10 20-win seasons, 5 region tournament and 5 regular season region titles, and 4 undefeated region records. He’s won the region tourney with 3 different schools – Chattahoochee, North Forsyth (3x) and with Dawson (boys).
He has 14 state tournament appearances, which includes 3 Final 4 runs (one at Chattahoochee, 2 at North Forsyth), 4 Elite 8 runs, and 9 Sweet 16 runs.
Alan Hogan has been a mainstay in the sport of tennis at Lumpkin County. He’s had a career that spans decades, going from Campbell of Fairburn (’80-’81 & ’84-’90), Creekside (’91-’01), Northview (’02-’08), and Lumpkin County (’09-Present). He has well over 400 wins in his illustrious career, and has had ONLY two losing seasons in all his years as head coach. He has coached three state championship teams (’06-’08 at Northview). He’s had 4 teams reach the Final 4 or further, 5 times going to the Elite 8 or further (once at Lumpkin in 2016), and tons of Sweet 16 runs (including 4 at Lumpkin in ’15, ’16, ’17, and ’21). Hogan has guided his programs to 8 region titles (’89, ’90, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’16, ’21), and has been named Region Coach of the Year in 1989 and 2006, as well as the Gainesville Times Coach of the Year in 2011.
Don Ledbetter came to Habersham Central for the 2007-08 season, bringing with him an already-storied career as a head coach. He previously led the Seneca (SC) boys basketball program for 22 years (1980-2003) prior to his 10 at Habersham Central (’07-’17). In his time in South Carolina, he tallied 6 region titles (tournament titles in ’83, ’88, ’90, ’91), being named Region Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1991.
When coming to take over the Raiders’ basketball program, he led in more than just wins and losses, but in being a positive influence of young men. At Habersham, he tallied some 100 victories, including a regular season region title (second in school history), giving him 387 total wins between South Carolina and Georgia. He coached more than 30 All-Region players and 7 All-State players. Overall, he had 7 region titles, 18 state playoff trips, and 4 Sweet 16 or further runs.
Brady Sigler had an extraordinary career in track and field as well as cross country. He was a head track & field coach for 16 years, winning 6 state titles, 6 state runners-up, and was an assistant for another title and 3 other runners-up.
His stops included Columbia from 1980-83 (Region and State Champs in ’80 & ’83; Region Champs & State RU in ’81 & ’82), Elbert County from 1992-98 (Region Champs every year; State Champs in ’95, ’96, ’97 & State RU in ’94 & ’98), Washington-Wilkes from 2000-01 (Region Champs twice, State RU in ’01), and Jefferson in 2018-19 (Region Champs twice, State Title in XC). He has coached well over 30 individual state champions, including 5 high-point trophy winners. All told, he coached at Columbia (6 yrs), Clarke Central (2), Madison County (4), Elbert County (9), Washington-Wilkes (3), Greene County (3), Oconee County (1), Cedar Shoals (2), North Oconee (4), East Jackson (1), and Jefferson (3).