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PREP ATHLETICS: Davidson bids ‘bittersweet’ goodbye
Eastside AD retires, boys soccer coach tapped successor
Philip Davidson retire
Outgoing Eastside AD Philip Davidson sits Tuesday, May 24, during a meeting in which the school’s next athletic director was announced. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

COVINGTON, Ga. — Philip Davidson recently announced his retirement as Eastside High School’s assistant principal and athletic director. 

School officials notified The News of Davidson’s decision Tuesday, May 24.

Replacing Davidson in both positions is Eastside boys soccer coach Champ Young. 

Davidson’s retirement comes after spending 31 years in education and the past seven years serving as Eastside’s athletic director.

Davidson described retiring from Eastside as “bittersweet.” 

“I have really enjoyed my time here,” Davidson said. “It’s a great school and the people here are fantastic. I’m going to miss them all, but it was just time.”  

Upon reflection, Davidson stressed how proud he was of the athletic department’s progress since he took over the program in 2015. However, Davidson was departing with the disappointment that he wouldn’t be able to serve in the new Eastside High School building set to open this fall 

“I was really hoping to get into the new building,” Davidson said. “We were supposed to get in it in December, and I would at least get to do a half of year in it.” 

The decision to retire wasn’t a hasty one. Davidson said he and his wife decided this past school year would be his final one at Eastside, and that he would retire. 

Now, in his retirement, Davidson anticipates many adventures in his next phase of life. He and his wife plan to travel across the U.S. But Davidson also acknowledged what his time at Eastside has meant to him. 

“I’m glad I ended up here,” Davidson said. “Mr. [Jeff] Cher is the best principal around and the staff he’s put together is the best around. And I’ve enjoyed working with them. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to end my career at.”

Young new AD
Champ Young stands by as Eastside principal Jeff Cher introduces him as the new athletic director Tuesday, May 24. - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

Young is the next man up to fill Davidson’s shoes. 

In addition to his tenure at Eastside serving as the head boys soccer coach since 2012, Young is also an alumnus of Eastside. 

Young expressed his excitement about leading the athletic department moving forward. However, he also stated that there’s some “pressure” in doing so while the whole school transitions from one building to another. 

“There’s a little bit hype and a little bit of pressure,” Young said. “But, at the same time, it’s nothing that I wouldn’t put on myself.” 

With Young accepting his promotion, he also had to relinquish his duties as head boys soccer coach. Young said that was a difficult part in deciding to step up to be athletic director. 

“It was very hard,” Young said. “But serving this school as a whole is the only job I would’ve left boys soccer for.” 

As a result, Young and other school officials will begin the search for a new boys soccer coach. 

But for now, Young anticipates a busy summer as the Eagles athletic department prepares for the new school year. He plans to hit the ground running. 

“I’m really looking forward to our first coach’s meeting in the new building,” Young said. “I get to look everybody in the face and say, ‘I’m here for you.’ I want to serve [the coaches] and make sure they understand that I have their backs and that we get to grow, not only the building, but I want programs, not just individual teams.”