COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton High School and head football coach, Terrance Banks, have officially parted ways, as Banks tendered his resignation to Newton High principal Shannon Buff and athletic director Vincent Byams, effective immediately, Monday afternoon.
Newton promptly tabbed quarterbacks coach and top assistant, Camiel Grant, Jr. as interim coach, also effective immediately, meaning he'll lead the team into Friday's first round Class AAAAAAA playoff game at West Forsyth.
“This afternoon Coach Terrance Banks resigned his position as head coach of the Newton High School football team," Newton High principal Shannon Buff said in a statement. "He will remain in his teaching position at Newton High School. We are thankful to Coach Banks for his six years of leadership of the NHS football team. Effectively immediately, Camiel Grant has been named the interim head football coach. The position will be posted after the season is complete.”
Grant has most recently served as quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach on Banks' staff.
Banks explained his rationale for resigning in a tweet that was posted Monday afternoon, shortly after Buff's statement was made public.
Banks’ six-year tenure came to an end Monday, just days after the Rams dropped their third game in the last four outings with a 35-34 double overtime loss to Rockdale. In that game, it was reported that Banks made statements to the end that he would resign his position as head coach — statements which he promptly denied the next day.
Banks posted a 38-27-1 record at Newton in his six seasons, and guided the Rams to six straight playoff appearances — the longest such streak in school history. During that time, he’s seen close to 40 players sign scholarships to play college football, including several notable players who currently contribute to highly ranked NCAA Power Five schools.
Newton’s competed in Region 8-AAAAAAA for the last three years, with one more year to play before the GHSA enters into reclassification mode after the 2019-20 school year. In that time, Banks has gone a combined 0-6 against the region’s top dogs, Grayson and Archer, and it hasn’t been close most times, as the two teams have won by a combined score of 234-63.
The Rams came close to beating then-No. 2 Archer back in 2017, but came up short 20-19 in a game where it raced out to a 12-0 lead before seeing quarterback Myron Middlebrooks leave the game due to injury. In that game, Banks’ controversial decisions to go for a failed two-point conversion after an early touchdown, and to go for it on 4th and 17 late while in field goal range stuck in the craw of fans.
Banks made a similar decision in Friday’s Rockdale game when he elected to go for a two-point try after scoring a touchdown in one of the overtime periods, even though teams weren’t required to go for two until the third overtime, according to GHSA rules.
That failed two-point try opened the door for a Rockdale win, the postgame fracas and some renewed scrutiny for some regarding the former coach’s decision making.
Newton (4-6) will travel to West Forsyth Friday in a first round Class AAAAAAA state playoffs matchup.
Check back with covnews.com later today for updates on this story.