Paul Carter is putting his dream of being a full-time college football coaching career on hold for now.
After two years as a graduate assistant at NAIA Dordt College, Carter has been hired as the defensive coordinator at Duluth, Ga., High School, a 7A school in the Gwinnett County School District.
“I was looking for a college job, but nothing stuck,” Carter said earlier this week from his new school. “I saw this opening on footballscoop.com.
“The opening was for a PE teacher and football coach. I needed a job so I jumped on it, I talked to Bob Swank the head coach, and after we talked a while, he offered me the job.”
Ironically, the guy that departed did so for a college coaching assignment.
Carter is currently subbing, but he will be full time at Duluth High in the fall. He’s coming into a tough situation, as Duluth is 17-44 overall in the last six years, including a 9-34 district record.
“This is very different than in Nevada,” Carter said. “They take their football very seriously here. The type of athlete we get here at Duluth is pretty good.
“There are 2,700 kids here, and we are on the small side for 7A. Some of the bigger schools have 3,200 kids.”
If people at Duluth want a serious-minded coach, they will be happy with Carter, who did a good job of developing younger talent.
“His enthusiasm for competition really stood out here (at Carson),” said Blair Roman, Carson head coach. “You could see his teams he coached here really take on that attitude of competing to their highest level possible for him.
“He really put the whole football program’s best interest first as JV coach. He, coach (Kiko) Vega, and coach (Rod) Estrada developed some of our best players over the years on the JV level. He was just a huge positive in our program for seven years. We were sorry to lose him but he needed to follow his heart and pursue his coaching aspirations, which I fully supported for himself and his family.”
And, Carter picked up some valuable experience at Dordt.
“Normally grad assistants do little or no coaching at the college level,” he said. “It was a great experience. We had our own meeting rooms with our own (group of) players.”
Carter said he isn’t sure whether he will be coaching a position group or just coordinating.
“The school just hired Tommy Smith, who played at Boise State,” Carter said. “He has been a grad assistant at Boise State the past few years. He will be coaching linebackers.
“There are very few teaching jobs left, and if we don’t get anybody else, I may be coaching defensive backs; nickel backs.”
Carter is the fourth defensive coordinator at Duluth in the last four years.
“One of the things lacking is consistency,” Carter said. “The last guy that left was here for three months.”
Duluth has allowed more than 36 points a game over the last three years, and Carter is anxious to help get things turned around.