HUNTERSVILLE – SouthLake Christian Academy coach Geoff “Bub” O’Donnell, who last fall led the Eagles to their first football state championship, resigned Feb. 5.
O’Donnell said he wanted to focus on family and work. He’s president of The Exodus Group, a financial services company he began 15 years ago.
SouthLake was 22-3 in O’Donnell’s two seasons as coach. The Eagles were 11-1 in 2013 and beat Victory Christian 7-0 in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association’s Division III championship. He began at SouthLake as the offensive coordinator in 2010.
“We would like to thank Geoff for everything he has done for our football program,” said SouthLake Christian Headmaster C. Wayne Parker said. “The 2013 state championship season will echo as one of the most memorable athletic team achievements in our school’s history. We wish only the best for Geoff as he begins a new chapter in his life.”
O’Donnell said he initially turned down the school’s offer to coach a proposed seventh-grade team in 2009.
“But, having young children at the school, I wanted to help them build the SouthLake athletics brand to someday equal its tremendous spiritual and academic standing,” he said. “We agreed to a five-year plan that included facilities upgrades and my coaching help until they were ready to commit to a full-time in-house football coach. As you can see from the (new) fantastic football field and field house, SouthLake's vision has come to fruition.”
O’Donnell coached at Davidson College from 1993 to 1998. He was Wildcats’ linebacker and strength and conditioning coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator/running backs coach in 1995.
His son, Conner, a sophomore wide receiver, will remain on the SouthLake team, O’Donnell said. He’s looking forward to a new role as a father in the bleachers next season.
"Running a successful business, managing the development of five kids, and running a top-flight high school football program has worn me out," O’Donnell said.
SouthLake Christian associate head coach Angelo Cox also stepped down last month. O'Donnell said the Eagles have six coaches remaining - Randy Stegall, Rick Lutzel, Steve Malloy, Mark Howard, Greg Howard and Adam Mumpower.
SouthLake Christian athletic director Joe Haney said a search for O'Donnell's replacement is underway.