MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - A year after hiring a new athletic director and football coach for its new James Clemens High School, the Madison School System is looking for a replacement.
Bill Stewart has accepted an administrative job for the Jackson County school system in Georgia, Madison Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler announced Friday morning.
The Jackson County, Ga. school board approved Stewart’s hiring as director of safety, security and activities for the district. It is similar to Madison’s with 13 schools, including two high schools.
"The first time I met coach Stewart," recalls Dr. Fowler, "I could tell then he was more concerned about raising good kids -- having kids of quality and character -- than he was with winning. He never disappointed."
Stewart joins former James Clemens Principal Dr. John Greene in the Jackson County school district. Greene was principal at James Clemens when Stewart was hired in Madison. Greene accepted the Jackson County superintendent’s post in May and reached out to Stewart to join his team. Both had worked in Georgia school districts before coming to Madison.
Dr. Fowler says he understands Stewart made a decision based on what was best for his family and career, and adds the Madison school system is losing a great leader.
"Obviously we lament that coach Stewart is leaving, but we celebrate with him the opportunity professionally that is awaiting him," said Dr. Fowler.
Principal Brian Clayton named James Clemens offensive coordinator Clint Woodfin to serve as interim athletic director and football coach. He said a search committee will be formed to find a replacement.
Clayton says students will certainly miss the relationships they formed with Coach Stewart, but he feels confident James Clemens High School can attract another worthy candidate.
"The kids are resilient and we'll rise to the occasion," assures Clayton. "They've been through some tough times already so they know how to handle a little bit of adversity and for us it's always about how we deal when we have that adversity that makes us who we are."