McDurmon has coached varsity wrestling at Darlington for nine years. Last spring, he led the wrestling team to a fifth-place finish in the state duals. The team had three individuals place at state, including Spencer Jones (’12), who won his fourth consecutive state title. In his tenure at Darlington, McDurmon has coached in 10 individual state championship wrestling matches, with the wrestlers winning eight of those titles. Additionally, the Tigers have finished as high as fourth in the state. Prior to his work at Darlington, McDurmon coached wrestling for nine years at his alma mater, Rockmart High School, leading the team to two state championships. As a student at Rockmart, he was a member of three state championship teams and won a couple of individual titles. At Darlington, McDurmon also teaches Upper School history and is an assistant cross country coach.
“I know I am the guy who gets the award, but I didn’t do this by myself,” McDurmon said. “My assistant wrestling coaches Craig Kipp and Wesley Styles have been incredible and the students work so hard for us. Our success is always a true collaborative effort.”
Hembree has coached varsity girls’ basketball at Darlington for five years. Last winter, he led the girls to the Elite Eight, where they were defeated by eventual state champs Wesleyan. The Lady Tigers were also the Region-A Runners-up and Northwest Georgia Tip-Off Club Team of the Year. After tying for the most wins in school history, Hembree was named Coach of the Year by the Rome News-Tribune and the Northwest Georgia Tip-Off Club. His career record is 92 wins and 53 losses over five seasons, and he has led the Lady Tigers to four appearances at state. Prior to his work at Darlington, Hembree was an assistant coach at Berry College and Model High School, and served as an instructor at numerous basketball camps in Georgia and Alabama. Additionally, he was a member of Berry College’s varsity basketball team as an undergraduate student. At Darlington, Hembree also teaches Upper School math and coaches varsity golf.
“This is a very special award because of the caliber of coaches we have here at Darlington,” Hembree said. “Although it is an individual award, it represents so many people that worked hard. My fellow coaches, Chris Allen, Steve McConnell, Tommy Atha (Middle School basketball) and Chad Woods (golf), have been instrumental in our programs’ successes; the student-athletes, both in basketball and golf, have put in many hours to be the best they can be; and parents have been supportive of our long hours and hard work that goes into creating a culture of success.”
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