Hamilton County

Hamilton County is getting a new head football coach with plenty of experience.

JASPER, Fla. — Richard Vester has been named the new head football coach at Hamilton County High School, HCHS athletic director Mike Cohen announced Wednesday.   

“He has prior head coaching experience, a winning philosophy. I believe he has a good layout for where we need to be in our program,” Cohen said of Vester. 

Vester has 22 years of coaching experience, which includes six seasons as a head coach. His first head coaching gig was in 2007 at Haines City High. In 2008, he started up The Vanguard School and served as head coach.

Most recently, he was at Newberry High from 2015 to 2018 and led the Panthers to two playoff trips. He compiled an 18-22 record at NHS. His best season came in 2016 with an 8-2 mark.   

Vester, a Milton High and Indiana State University graduate, is familiar with the area. He was an assistant coach at neighboring Madison County from 2010 to 2012.

“Me and my family are very excited to move to Jasper,” Vester said. “The location is excellent. 

“Community is a big deal. Getting them excited about it again and giving the kids something concrete to believe in.”

Vester will become the 21st head coach at Hamilton County High, which opened in 1965.

He replaces Doug Clayton, who was named interim coach in 2018 after the departure of Ric Whittington. 

Vester said his first official day will be Jan. 14.

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Mike Jones is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press in North Florida.

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