After 11 seasons at the helm, Head Coach Brian Shirley is resigning his post head as lead Knight of the Johnson High School Boys soccer program. Shirley stated he was stepping down in order to focus on other priorities. Under Shirley’s leadership, the Knights compiled an overall record of 174 wins, 37 losses, and 8 draws. During his tenure as head coach, the Knights brought home an impressive 7 region titles and 11 playoff appearances; two of those playoff appearances resulted in 2nd place state finishes. In 2018, the Knights won the AAAAA State Title.
“Today has been a very difficult day. One of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make,” said Shirley. “But I owe it to all parties involved–to my boys, to myself, and most importantly, to my family–to the best I can be. I know that I have done things the right way, and I can be proud of that. It has been a heck of a ride the last 11 years.”
Johnson High School Athletic Director, Tony Wagner, expressed his gratitude for Shirley’s impact on the Knight Nation. “We at Johnson can’t thank Coach Shirley enough for his dedication, work ethic, and heart for our young people, our school, and our community. He re-built the Johnson Boys Soccer Program and established a brand that was easily recognizable and respected throughout the state of Georgia. We are thankful for the 11 years he served as head coach, and even more thankful he will still be involved in the lives of our student-athletes.”
“When you look at all of the accomplishments that that JHS Soccer has accumulated under Coach Shirley, the numbers absolutely jump off the page,” said Associate Principal Jonathan Edwards. “But those numbers don’t tell the entire story. Coach Shirley has run an elite, first-class soccer program that builds strong young men of character. His hard work and commitment to doing things the right way brought JHS its first state championship; but most importantly, the impact that he has had on so many young people is his lasting legacy. We are grateful for all Brian has done for our student-athletes and the entire Johnson High School community. We wish him and his family nothing but the best in the future.”
Both Wagner and Edwards indicated that a plan is underway to fill Shirley’s vacancy.