CUMMING, Ga. - Friday afternoon, Pinecrest Academy will officially introduce former Falcons wide receiver Terance Mathis as their new head football coach. Mathis told FOX 5 Sports in an exclusive interview that the job offer came quickly after former Paladins head coach Todd Winter resigned last week after five years at the school.
Winter, now the head coach at Holy Innocents, will be a tough act to follow after leading Pinecrest to a 35-19 overall record and a strong playoff run in 2015. Mathis says there's enough talent to continue the winning tradition.
"My expectation is to get better each week" Mathis told us. "If it's winning the region and so on, then so be it."
Mathis made it clear that his team will have it's own identity.
"They ran the triple option here for the last five years. We're gonna change it up a little bit and run a pro-style offense with a little spread in it. We just have to see what kind of talent we have in the skill positions."
Expect the Paladins' defense to be more creative and attacking according to Mathis, who spent last year as an assistant at Lambert High School. The 13-year NFL veteran says his professional career as a prolific wide receiver helped prepare him for this opportunity.
"My last year in Atlanta I was pretty much a player coach. Dan Reeves leaned on me a lot to help the young guys develop. So, I've been preparing for this moment for a long time."
Several of Mathis' former Falcons teammates have already reached out to offer their support to the program, something that Mathis believes will help generate interest on Friday nights. He'll need all the support he can get as the Single-A Paladins open their schedule with back-to-back road games against 7-A opponents South Forsyth and Discovery.