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FPD announces changes in girls basketball program

The FPD girls basketball program announced several changes on Thursday, July 10 in a team meeting, as Charley Chase announced his intention to step down and John Griffin was appointed as head coach.
MACON, Ga. (FPD ATHLETICS RELEASE) - The FPD girls basketball program announced several changes on Thursday, July 10 in a team meeting, as Charley Chase announced his intention to step down and John Griffin was appointed as head coach.

Chase cites that having two major surgeries led to his decision.

"While I am in good health, these past surgeries have left me less mobile than I had been," Chase said. "Consequently, I can't give 100 percent and I believe that everything we do ought to be to the best of our ability. Reluctantly, I think it's time for me to back away."

Athletic Director Greg Moore said Chase served the school well.

“Charley has just been super! We’re all very thankful for the way he has led our girls basketball program, teaching and encouraging in a way that models our school’s mission.”

Chase, who has been at the helm of the program for the last six years, departs with a 102-62 record. His 2009 squad captured the 2009 GISA State Championship. In the first four years in the GHSA, Chase's teams picked up two Region Tournament Runner-Up finishes and advanced to the state playoffs twice.

"These past six years have been wonderful," Chase said. "I'm grateful to Headmaster Gregg Thompson and Athletic Director Greg Moore for entrusting me with the priceless privilege of being the head coach."

During his time as head coach, Chase had multiple players set individual records. Hannah Davis (2013) set the single season three-point record with 65 and Savannah Phillips (2014) eclipsed the 1,000 point mark.

Coupled with Chase's decision to step down is the appointment of Griffin.

Griffin is no stranger to the FPD campus, having served as an assistant coach from 1996-2002 for the girls and boys basketball programs. After his time at FPD, Griffin served as head girls basketball coach at GMC from 2003-2012.

"I'm thankful for this opportunity," Griffin said. "I have a love for coaching girls basketball and hope to continue leading this program to new heights."
Moore is pleased to have Griffin on board to lead the Lady Vikings.

“I’ve known John a long time, and we are fortunate to have someone with his capability already on board and ready to go. He will do a great job, and our girls program will be in great hands under his guidance.”

Experience is not an issue for Griffin, who previously spent time as a head coach at John Hancock from 1981-1983.

After his stint with the Rebels, Griffin moved to Milledgeville where he led the Lady Bulldogs of GMC from 1985-1987 before returning again in 2003.

"I missed being a head coach," Griffin said. "When it became available there was no hesitation that I wanted it."

Griffin, who has served as head boys track coach and assistant football and basketball coach for the past two years at FPD, taught in the Georgia public school system for 29 years. He earned his bachelors and masters in education from Georgia College.

“This is just a very positive situation all the way around,” Moore said. “I’m happy for Charley to get some relief, and I’m happy that John is the person stepping into the void. I’m also very thankful for both of them.”

The Lady Vikings finished 16-9 last season and advanced to the GHSA Class-A State Playoffs for the second time in school history.

FPD returns seven players from last year's roster for the 2014-15 season.

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