Gordon Central head football coach Cory Nix stepped down from his position with the team Wednesday morning, a day after a meeting in which he was presented with the “ultimatum” of either being removed from his post or resigning on his own.
“If I had any say-so, it was not my choice,” said Nix, who became head coach in March 2017. “I didn’t plan for this. I was not told any reasons. I just had to do what they told me.”
Gordon Central Principal Doug Clark said Thursday that during the meeting Nix was told the program was being taken in a different direction. Clark added that it was Nix’s decision to resign.
Shortly after announcing on the school’s Facebook page that Nix was stepping down Wednesday, Clark shared that TJ Hamilton was being promoted to the head coaching role, promoting from within due to time of the year with summer fast approaching, Clark said.
Hamilton is a 2006 graduate of Gordon Central, where he was a three-sport athlete — football, basketball and track. He continued his football career at the University of Tennessee at Martin, and has been coaching for more than 11 years.
“As principal, it’s my job to do what’s best for Gordon Central,” Clark said, adding that he did not want to speak much more on the reasons behind the move due to “personnel matters.”
“Honestly I still do not know the exact reason to why they gave me this choice,” said Nix, who played tight end at UAB. “I know that’s hard to fathom. I just took the choice that God had a plan for me and my family. and as rough as this is, as tough as this is, that I needed to just resign and do what was right for them, if that’s what they wanted.”
In his Facebook post, Clark wrote: “It is with mixed emotions that I announce our Head Football Coach is leaving his position at GCHS. Coach Nix has worked tirelessly rebuilding Warrior football and has laid a solid foundation for the future success our football program. We wish Coach Nix nothing but the best as he starts the next chapter of his life and know he will continue to learn and grow as he moves forward.”
Though he no longer leads the football team, Nix will continue as a PE teacher at the school for at least the remainder of the year, after which he will have to decide whether to continue on as just a teacher at Gordon Central or look for another school to join as a coach and teacher.
Nix’s Warriors were on the verge of a playoff berth in the final regular season game of 2018, as they battled against Coosa for the fourth playoff seed in Region 7-AA. However, Gordon Central was met with a 37-14 defeat. The Warriors finished the year with a 3-7 record in 2018, and had a 2-8 record in Nix’s first year.
Next year was going to be the year and I won’t be able to see it, and that’s the worst part,” Nix said, adding that he spoke with the team Wednesday morning. ”At the end of the day I did leave it better than I found it.”
Nix thanked the players, students, staff and community for making his time at Gordon Central special, noting the support shown to him after his resignation was announced.