Matt Kemper is on the move again.
The former Roswell coach was named the new football coach at Etowah over the weekend. The school announced the move on its Twitter feed.
“Eagle Nation is excited to finally announce the Eagles new Head Football Coach. Welcome to Eagle Mountain, Matt Kemper! We can’t wait to see what the future holds. @etowahfootball let’s do this!”
With schools shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is not certain when Kemper, who is expected to start his new position March 30, will get his first day on the field with his new squad. Still, he is excited to take over the program and get started.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Kemper said. “It’s a program that’s had a lot of success and it’s the pride of the community.”
Kemper also said one of the big advantages is a “rock star” group of administrators, including principal Robert Horn and athletic director Ken Nix.
“Our mentalities match up well,” Kemper said.
Kemper replaces Dave Svehla, who left after eight seasons to become the coach at West Forsyth.
Under Svehla, Etowah went 49-41 and qualified for the state playoffs seven times. That included 2014, the best season in program history, when the Eagles went 11-3 and advanced to the state semifinals.
However, the success started to fade over the last four years. In that time, Etowah was six games under .500 and did not finish better than 5-6.
Kemper, who leaves Roswell after three seasons, is known for his ability to transform struggling programs into winners.
In 2008, he took over at Pope, after the Greyhounds had gone 1-9 the previous season. The team then went 4-6 in Kemper’s first year before four straight winning seasons. That streak included a 10-1 season and a Region 5AAAA championship in 2011.
Kemper left Pope as its winningest coach, with a 39-35 record over his seven seasons.
In 2015, Kemper took over a Johns Creek squad that went 1-9 in its previous season and quickly turned it around. In two seasons with the Gladiators, he went 12-9, leading the squad to its first region championship in 2016.
Taking over Etowah will not be as extreme of a rebuild, and Kemper is excited about the team he is inheriting.
“I like the blue-collar mentality,” he said. “We’re going to go to work. We’re going to go out on Friday night and compete.
“What is the John W. Gardner quote? ‘Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.’ That’s going to be us.”
Kemper’s Roswell teams were 20-13 in three years, winning Region 4AAAAAAA titles in 2018 and ‘19 and making the playoffs in all three seasons. This past year, the Hornets went 8-3 and won its first-round playoff game against Wheeler before dropping a second-round matchup with Mill Creek.
Kemper has a career record in Georgia of 71-57. He also has experience coaching in Ohio and Florida.