Head Coach Kevin Saunders
Pebblebrook found its new football coach.
The Falcons didn’t have to look far, tapping Cross Keys coach and Marietta resident Kevin Saunders to take over for Tommy Macon, who was relieved of his coaching duties following three seasons at the helm.
Saunders coached Cross Keys, a Class AAAA school in DeKalb County, to a 1-4 record last season. He spent the previous five years at Gretna (Va.) High School, where he went 49-15 and won a state championship in 2011.
Saunders has more than 30 years of coaching experience and owns a career head-coaching record of 158-84-2.
“I’m very excited to be the new coach at Pebblebrook,” Saunders said. “I love challenges, and taking over a program like Pebblebrook, that has had some success in the past, is what I enjoy being a part of. They have athletes there and kids that can play. I just need to get in there and get working.”
Saunders will be the Falcons’ third coach in 11 seasons. Macon went 5-25, while Randall Smith was 17-23 from 2008-11. Michael Collins, now the coach at Wheeler, took Pebblebrook to the state playoffs in 2006 and ’07 and went 19-14 in his three seasons at the Mableton school.
“I’ve been fortunate to turn programs around before,” said Saunders, who also found success at William Campbell and J.J. Kelly high schools in Virginia, and Shelby Valley in Kentucky.
Despite several accomplishments at Gretna, Saunders took the Cross Keys position to be closer to his father, who also lives in Marietta. He also liked the competition in Georgia, along with the financial advantages.
“I took the Cross Keys job knowing it wasn’t going to be long term,” he said. “I wanted to help care for my dad and be as close to him as I could.
“I was successful in Virginia, and Cross Keys was a great learning experience. I loved the administration, but to get to Cobb County, where I live and my dad lives, I just love the area.”
Saunders was offered and accepted the Pebblebrook position April 3, then got the approval from Cobb County School District on Tuesday. He’s already seen film of Pebblebrook in action, and he will tailor his offense to suit the players’ abilities.
“I’ve run the spread before,” Saunders said, “but we’re going to run the ball at Pebblebrook. I’ve run the Wing-T in the past and have had success with it. From what I’ve seen, the guys need to get back to the basics and be fundamentally sound on blocking and tackling.
“If you can’t run and tackle and block, then you’re not going to win a lot of football games. We’ll line up in the spread from time to time, and if we find a quarterback who can throw the ball, then we’ll throw it. I’ll work with the personnel that I’m given, but the fundamentals have to be there first and that’s what we’ll focus on.”
Defensively, Saunders expects to utilize a 3-5 scheme. He stressed that the defensive line will have to improve, and defense as a whole needs to improve fundamentally and tackle better.
Saunders said keeping players in the Pebblebrook system and improving the youth program should generate even better results in the long run.
“We have to build on the middle-school and youth programs,” he said. “We have to get in there and get our hands dirty and keep the kids at Pebblebrook instead of watching them leave.”
Saunders will be in charge of spring practices, using that time to evaluate players and potential assistant coaches, while also slowly implementing his schemes.
“My teams in the past have been physical and fundamentally sound on both sides of the ball —blocking, tackling, executing and not making a lot of mistakes” he said. “That’s how I expect this team to perform.”
Pebblebrook athletic director John Chandler believes the administration has the right coach in charge.
“Kevin has a history of winning and turning programs around,” Chandler said. “We think he’ll be really successful here.
“We interviewed a lot of guys. He seemed like someone our stakeholders would buy into. He asked us a lot of questions, too. He’s a no-nonsense guy who will ruffle feathers, not play favorites and make sure the hardest-working kids are the ones most deserving to play. He seems like a guy who can change the culture here, a guy that can win games and build a program from scratch, and we’re excited to have him.”
Coach Walter Roach OC/ QB Coach
Offensive Line Coach Pruett
IS the man. Will always be the man. If anyone tells you different, then they are not the man. So if you ever meet the man, you just met Troy Pruett.
Offensive Line/ JV Head Coach Robert Jenkins
Coach Jenkins is entering his 6th year of coaching football at Pebblebrook and his 9th overall. Jenkins played football in county at Sprayberry High school. Jenkins is also the head coach of the PHS Lacrosse team. His previous Experiences in coaching include football at Lipscomb High School in Nashville, TN. Jenkins is married to Amanda Jenkins, who also teaches in Cobb county. He has two girls and a boy.
Running Backs Coach/ Special Teams Coordinator William Jones
In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool
And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys who were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
She said, “You’re movin’ with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.”
I whistled for a cab and when it came near
The license plate said “Fresh” and it had dice in the mirror
If anything I could say that this cab was rare
But I thought, “Nah, forget it.” “Yo, home to Bel-Air.”
I pulled up to the house about 7 or 8
And I yelled to the cabbie, “Yo home smell ya later.”
I looked at my kingdom
I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel-Air
Assistant Head Coach/ Defensive Backs Coach Charles Swann
Charles Swann brings his skills as a noted tactician, teacher, and motivator to the Falcons for his 8th season affiliated with the Falcon football program. Swann has an extensive background in athletics at a high level including a 5-year NFL playing career. Also Swann played 2 years in NFL Europe. Swann served as a backup cornerback and special teams specialist for the N.Y. Giants(1992), Denver Broncos(1994), Green Bay Packers(1995), Kansas City Chiefs(1996-98) where he play primarily in the nickel & dime defenses and special team coverage. A 12th round draft pick of the N.Y. Giants began his pro career on the Giants developmental squad as a wide receiver. He finished his career as a cornerback as the Broncos switched him to the defensive side of the ball. That year, Swann served as the Broncos co-captain of the special teams unit. The Memphis, Tennessee native grew up in South Bend, Indiana…. A rare three sport collegiate letterman at Indiana State University, Swann earned All-American status as wide receiver/kick returner during his collegiate career. Swann was a provisional qualifier for the NCAA nationals in the 100(10.28) & 200(20.77) meter track events. Swann also played one year of varsity basketball for the Sycamores….Earned all-state accolades in football, basketball, and track at LaSalle High School in South Bend, Indiana, where he served as a prep defensive back…….Majored in psychology at Indiana State University……Full name: Charles Derek Swann………Married, wife LaShawn, three sons, Christian(16), Justin(13), & Tyler(11).
Pebblebrook High School
2007- 2015-Varsity Football Defensive Assistant……..
2007- 2015-Varsity Football Offensive Assistant……..
2007- 2013-Jr. Varsity Girls Head Basketball Coach……..
2013- 2015-Jr. Falcons Middle School Boys Basketball Coach……..
Wide Receivers Coach OJ Conner
Coach Conner is entering his 2ndfull time season as a high school coach. Last season Conner coached the secondary at South Cobb High School. Conner has volunteer coached at his alma mater Gary, IN West Side High School (94-97) tutoring the wide receivers during fall camp (‘13, ‘14). Conner was an All State receiver in high school setting school records for catches and TD’s. Conner was also a 4 year letterman at WR for Indiana University (97-00) where he was recruited by and learned from one of the great offensive minds, current LSU offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. Upon graduation from Indiana University Conner coordinated several football camps for NFL players like Antwaan Randle El and Jermain Phillips (2004-2011). Prior to coaching football Conner spent 13 years as the manager of Waller Park Recreation Center in Roswell, GA working with At-risk youth. Conner enjoys working with young people in the community and mentoring young athletes to reach their maximum potential. Conner comes from a football family having played for his uncle Jason Johnson who was a NFL wide receiver, (Denver Broncos, Pittsburg Steelers) younger brother Brandon Holmes played for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and currently has 2 cousins currently playing college football Jonvea Johnson, Lonnie Johnson (Toledo, Iowa State). Conner’s mother and father both reside in Atlanta. Conner and his Fiancé reside in Austell, GA
Defensive Line Coach Matthew Williams
Head Trainer Marcus Underwood
Originally from Acworth, Georgia, Marcus Underwood, LAT, ATC has provided medical care for athletes from middle school school all the way to the professional level. He attended Georgia Southern University where he had the opportunity to work with D1 athletics. He has worked with the Carolina Panthers football team and served as the head athletic trainer for Calvary Day School prior to joining our staff in 2015.