McPherson takes Lowndes coaching job.

Lowndes County looked south and found their man.

The South Georgia school board hired Madison County, Fla., coach Randy McPherson during a Saturday morning workshop. McPherson replaces retired coach Milt Miller, who led the Vikings to a state championship and two region titles during his ten-year tenure with Lowndes.

The decision brings to a close a three-month search that caused divisiveness among the Viking faithful. A contingency of supporters advanced an assistant coach's application, which leaves wounds that McPherson must heal. McPherson said he would be looking at current Lowndes employees first as he builds his coaching staff.

Fitzgerald's Robbie Pruitt, another Florida transplant, was heavily considered after a three-person search committee made its recommendations. Pruitt withdrew his name from consideration when negotiations broke down.

McPherson has won six straight district titles and the 2001 Florida Class 2-A state championship as coach of Madison High. The Lowndes County board of education voted unanimously to approve his hiring.

McPherson will also need to replace defensive coordinator Harold Brantly, who took the head coaching job at Worth County last week.

Madison County, which lost to Valdosta 16-6 last season in a highly touted opening season game, completed the season with a 12-2 record under McPherson and finished in the Florda finals. McPherson's record stands at 71-9 in six season as head coach of Madison High.

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