The most successful football coach in Heritage High School history is now the Patriots' former coach.
Chad Frazier told his players Friday morning that he was officially named Villa Rica's new football coach and athletic director Thursday evening.
He takes over at Villa Rica in order to move closer to his home in Newnan. Frazier's drive to Heritage every day was 120 miles round trip, and moving to the Carroll County school shaves 30 miles off his trip. It's a trip that will keep him closer to his middle school-aged daughter and his wife who's a five-time state champion cheerleading coach.
"As much as we wanted to keep him and as much as we like and love him here, he got a chance to be closer to home," Heritage athletic director Chuck Landy.
Frazier will also get a chance to take on a new role as the Wildcats' athletic director, adding to the opportunity which led him to leave his first head-coaching job at Heritage.
"Being athletic director is a new challenge and opportunity," Frazier said. "Just the timing and the location really appealed to me. It's an opportunity for me to be closer to home; that was the biggest reason I was looking into it."
The appeal of Villa Rica's football program is similar to when he took over at Heritage. The Wildcats had a winning past, winning the state championship in 1986 but not making any noise in the playoffs since then, going 4-6 in 2012.
"I feel like they've got an athletic group of kids," Frazier said. "They could be successful with a little different leadership and I hope I can help them get over that hump."
Much like Frazier's experience with a cooperative principal in Heritage's Greg Fowler, Villa Rica is also providing Frazier the same close-knit connection with the school's administration in Principal Adam Herring and long-time friend.
"It's a guy who I knew and know I'll enjoy working for," Frazier said. "Working with Mr. Fowler, he's been so good to me. It's not very often you have the opportunity to go work with somebody you know."
Frazier went 37-27 since being hired at Heritage before the 2007 season, leading the Patriots to several milestones. Under Frazier's direction, the Patriots had their most winningest season with a 10-2 record, its first region title and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs in 2012. That season was part of three-straight winning seasons for Heritage begging with a 7-4 ledger in 2010. That season ended with a 27-10 loss to Marist in the first round.
"He was successful in more ways than on the field," Landy said. "We're excited about the football program, but he is a great guy. He did so much for the players and other students at the school."