Jim Kremer

Jim Kremer, seen here during warm-ups prior to a game last season at Sonoraville, was named the new head coach of the Phoenix program on Tuesday, replacing Roger Gentry. (File-Larry Greeson, For the Calhoun Times)

Jim Kremer came to Sonoraville prior to last season to assist head coach Roger Gentry in taking the Phoenix football program to the next level.

Now, after the Phoenix made their first-ever State Playoff appearance last season, it’s Kremer that will lead the team into the next phase as they try to build on that success.

Kremer, who served as defensive coordinator last season, was named the new head coach for Sonoraville on Tuesday, replacing Gentry, who resigned recently to take an assistant coaching job at Stephens County.

“Following a lengthy interview process with several well-qualified candidates, the Phoenix nation is proud to announce that Mr. Jim Kremer has been named as head football coach for the 2014-15 season,” said Sonoraville High principal Bruce Potts in a press release on Tuesday. “Mr. Kremer is no stranger to Sonoraville High, as he served as the 2013-2014 defensive coordinator and helped guide the team to their first playoff appearance since Sonoraville opened in 2006. He brings with him a wealth of high school and college football experience having served in numerous coaching capacities at Troy University, Lake Brantley High School (Altamonte Springs, FL), Apopka High School (Apopka, FL), Calhoun High School (Calhoun, GA), Mountain Brook High School (Mountain Brook, AL), and Adairsville High School (Adairsville, GA).

“Mr. Kremer has consistently been instrumental in building quality athletic programs as evidenced by numerous playoff appearances, region titles and one national championship. His objective to impact student lives through teaching and coaching fits seamlessly with the Sonoraville High mission of ‘Setting a Higher Standard’ both on and off the field. Sonoraville High welcomes Mr. Kremer in his new role and looks forward to the great things to come.”

Kremer served as head coach at Adairsville for four seasons prior to coming to Sonoraville in 2013. He accumulated a record of 27-16 in that time, including leading the Tigers to the playoffs each of his final two seasons there.

Kremer said he’s ready to get started after being given the opportunity with the Phoenix.

“I’m extremely excited,” said Kremer. “It’s a unique situation because it really surprised us when Coach Gentry left, but when it happened I certainly wanted the chance to get the job. Sonoraville is a great place and an up an coming school. I’m kind of at a loss for words.

“Even when I was other places I thought that Sonoraville had the chance to be a very good program. There’s great kids here, great leadership and great support. I look forward to getting better, and I think this team is primed and ready to take the next step.”

Kremer, who also spent eight years as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Calhoun High, said being at Sonoraville as an assistant over the past year will give him a head start as he takes over as head coach.

“I know the kids and they now what they’re getting with me,” said Kremer.

“I think it’s a big advantage. We’re pretty much going to try to keep on doing what we’ve been doing. Knowing the kids and the guys on staff, I think the transition is going to be pretty smooth.”

Kremer is the third head coach on the field for Sonoraville since the program started in 2006. Gentry went 9-22 in the past three seasons as head coach, after Chuck King went 16-34 in the program’s first five seasons.

Kremer has also been in charge of the team’s weight training program since coming to Sonoraville last summer, and he said even before the change these past few weeks, he could tell the players are ready to get started on a new season after getting a taste of the playoffs last year.

“Right after the season finished in November, the kids were back in the weight room, and you could tell their commitment level and excitement was there,” said Kremer. “We had a lot of underclassmen playing a lot of snaps last season, and I think it was good for them to get a taste of it.

“You can tell the kids, the school and the community want more, and we want to make that happen.”

The Phoenix will begin their first spring practice under their new head coach on Monday as they start their first organized team activities in preparation for the 2014 season.

They will begin their attempt at a second straight State playoff appearance on Aug. 29 when they open the regular season at home against Model. The Phoenix play three of their first four games at home.

Sonoraville will be playing in Region 6-AAA this coming season after GHSA reclassification. They've played each of the last two seasons in 5-AAA after moving up from Class AA.