Frank Barden, the winningest coach in Cartersville football history, has accepted a job as head coach and athletics director at Stephens County, Barden confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.
Barden is a native of nearby Habersham Central and is a former assistant coach at Stephens County. Barden’s son, Brooks Barden, was an all-state quarterback for Cartersville this past season who signed with Charlotte.
"After Brooks graduated this year and I hit 30 years, I had always said it would be a good time to go back toward home for family,’’ Barden said.
Barden was 154-58-1 in 18 seasons as Cartersville’s head coach. His 1999 team featuring future Auburn All-America and NFL running back Ronnie Brown won a Class AA championship and finished 15-0. Cartersville was 13-1 and 11-1 the past two seasons with Brooks Barden as its record-setting quarterback.
Frank Barden was Stephens County’s offensive coordinator from 1987 to 1993 under coach Rodney Walker and worked with star running backs Eldorado Cochran and Ken Swilling. During that time, Stephens County played in three semifinal games and one state final, in 1988, when beaten for the AAA title by Thomasville.
Barden will replace Travis Noland, who took the head coaching job at Oconee County. Stephens County was 5-6 in 2013 but made the playoffs in eight of Noland’s nine seasons
Cartersville will join Region 7-AAAA starting this fall along with Gilmer, Heritage, LaFayette, Northwest, Pickens, Ridgeland and Southeast.