Hal Lamb

Hal Lamb, who has been a mainstay of high school football in Northwest Georgia for two decades, announced he is retiring from the sidelines. / File-Calhoun Times

Hal Lamb, Calhoun’s longtime and decorated head football coach, announced at a press conference on Thursday afternoon he will retire from coaching after 20 seasons at the helm for the Jackets. Calhoun assistant coach Clay Stephenson, who has been with the team for 14 seasons, was named his replacement.

“It was time, I’ve been praying about it for nearly two years,” Lamb said after delivering the news. “I was pinpointing this time to do it, and I went through the season and I didn’t have any sort of changes in my mind to not do it, so my wife and I prayed about it and this is the right time. I’m going to miss it, but I can’t coach forever. It’s time.”

During Lamb’s tenure he led Calhoun to three state titles — in 2011, 2014 and 2017 — as well as a state-record 18 straight region titles, which included a streak of 138 consecutive wins against region opponents.

Lamb’s teams finished as state runners-up five times and reached the state semifinals two additional times. He has been named region coach of the year 11 times.

Members from the Calhoun Board of Education revealed Thursday that the football field at Calhoun’s at Phil Reeve Stadium is officially renamed Hal Lamb Field.

“It hasn’t even really hasn’t even sunk in yet,” Lamb said. “It’s such an honor, and it’s something I never dreamed would happen. I’m grateful for that for sure.”

Prior to coming to Calhoun, Lamb also served as head coach of Upson-Lee High School for two seasons, as well as spending time prior as an assistant coach of Upson-Lee and Cartersville High School. His final overall head coaching record stands at 238-52.

Lamb will now turn the reins over to Stephenson, who played under Lamb and has been a part of the Calhoun coaching staff since 2004. He most recently operated as the team’s wide receivers coach.

“It’s very humbling, and it’s a big task that I do not take lightly,” Stephenson said. “I have the upmost respect for that position, and the great job that Lamb has done for so long.”

Lamb also shared that he believes the program is in great hands going forward under Stephenson’s leadership.

“I’m happy for (Stephenson),” Lamb said. “There are probably three or four guys here that could be the head coach of this football program, but they chose coach Stephenson. He’s an awesome person, and he will do a tremendous job. He’s been with me a long time and even played for me. He cares about the kids, and I wanted to keep the staff intact, so I’m glad they chose him. I know he will do a really, really good job.”

Lamb will stay on at Calhoun as a part-time campus facilities and event coordinator and will assist new athletic director Brock Holley.