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Lovejoy assistant to lead Lithia football
by E. Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
April 30, 2014 01:41 PM | 788 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout<br>New Lithia Springs football head coach Craig Chatman stands on the school’s football field last week.
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout
New Lithia Springs football head coach Craig Chatman stands on the school’s football field last week.
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Lithia Springs recently announced the hiring of former Lovejoy offensive coordinator Craig Chatman as the program’s new head coach. He replaces former head coach Scott Dean who resigned in December to take an administrative role within the school.

Chatman, an alumnus of Lovejoy, had been on the coaching staff of his alma mater since 2000 after graduating from LaGrange College in 1999. Since he took over the offensive coordinator duties in 2002, Lovejoy became one of the top programs in Class 6A, making the state finals in 2012. This past season, the Wildcats won 10 games, advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

“Lithia Springs has a beautiful campus and has its own facilities which is something we didn’t have in Clayton County with Lovejoy since we had to share a stadium,” Chatman said.

“I have a chance to put a stamp on something and shape the program.”

Lithia Springs has had many struggles on the field, winning only three games in the past three seasons. The Lions went winless last year in 10 contests. Chatman has a familiarity with building a program from the ground level.

“When I started as a player with Lovejoy, the school was new and we took some lumps,” Chatman said. “We learned how to play with toughness and the commitment level it took to be winners. I come from a structured situation where everything was planned out with reason and I’m going to bring the same here.”

Lithia Springs athletic director Alton Bias added that Chatman “has a strong foundation that our players immediately knew about.”

Offensively, Chatman plans to install a spread offense that can adjust to any defensive formation. This process will begin Monday, the first day of spring practice for Lithia Springs.

“We’re going to hit the ground running and work on the fundamentals of football,” Chatman said.

The spring game will be on campus May 16.

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