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Parris named Heritage football coach
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Out of the almost 450 schools playing football in the Georgia High School Athletic Association, Mike Parris is 25th in career wins.

That means as of Thursday, the Patriots have one of the state's most successful coaches following up one of Heritage's most successful coaches.

Parris was hired to lead the Heritage football team after approval at Rockdale County School Board of Education meeting Thursday, electing to move on from Jackson after 17 years as the Red Devils' head coach. Heritage will be just Parris' third head coaching job after starting his career at Forest Park 21 years ago.

"He was interested in us and we were certainly interested in him," Heritage athletic director Chuck Landy said. "We went through the process and we were real excited to get a chance to get him."

Heritage had well over 100 resumes come in, stopping the search with 104 having been submitted, before interviewing five candidates.

Parris resigned from Jackson on Jan. 29, 11 days after Chad Frazier stepped down at Heritage to pursue the head coach and athletic director position at Villa Rica.

Parris left Jackson as the program's winningest and longest tenure coach, tallying 123 wins. The Red Devils won nine games in a season just four times in the 48 seasons prior to Parris taking over, before he won at least that many eight times in his 17 seasons there.

"It was time for me to make a change," Parris said. "That was one of the best options I thought was out there, to go to Heritage High School.

Parris said he was drawn to the Patriots due to the level of success they have had recently, as Heritage has reached three straight state playoffs, and won the Region 8-AAAA championship in 2011.

"That coaching staff did a really good job, and we're trying to build on what they've done," Parris said. "I'm really excited about the opportunity to come over. I really want to thank Mr. (Greg) Fowler and coach Landy for allowing me the opportunity to come there and be a part of the Heritage family."

Parris will bring a change to the Patriots offensively, which have run an option and Wing-T offense under Frazier for the last seven years to a zone-type offense with more of a passing attack. One of the quarterbacks Parris has coached over the years, threw the ball with a lot of success before moving on to the University of Georgia and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Hines Ward.

Parris visited Heritage Friday, meeting with his future football players and will officially begin his tenure on Feb. 25.