May 25, 2022

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Athens Academy announces two new coaches | Sports

Two Athens Academy athletic teams will have new head coaches next school year.

On Monday, Athens Academy athletic director Kevin Petroski announced the school hired new girls soccer and boys basketball head coaches.

Judson Hamby will be the new varsity girls soccer coach. Don Hurlburt will take over the boys basketball program.

Hamby will replace Steve Stewart, who is set to retire upon completion of the current school year after a 22-year tenure at Athens Academy. Hurlburt will replace Michael Salvia, who coached the Spartans boys basketball team the past three seasons.

Hamby worked as the girls soccer coach at Parkview High School beginning in 2007.

While there, Hamby compiled a 265-53-4 overall record. He was named the 2021 DiVarsity Class AAAAAAA girls coach of the year, and he won the Region 7-AAAAAAA coach of the year award in 2019.

Parkview reached the semifinals of the state tournament in 2019 after winning the state title in 2018.

In addition to his role at Parkview, Hamby has served as the head trainer and coach for club soccer as part of the Gwinnett Soccer Association since 2004. The GSA team won the 2019 ECNL girls national championship in 2019. Hamby has also trained numerous nationally ranked teams and earned multiple state and regional championships along the way.

“I am ecstatic about starting this new opportunity to teach and coach at Athens Academy,” Hamby said Monday in a press release. “I am forever indebted to Parkview High School for giving me the greatest opportunity to teach and carry on the tradition of coaching their soccer program that I can never repay. After a great experience of being on campus at Athens Academy and meeting with the faculty and staff, I fell in love with the school. I am sincerely grateful to Mr. Thorsen and Mr. Petroski for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this wonderful school. I am honored with the opportunity and humbled to be following the great success of Steve Stewart, as he has built this fantastic girls soccer program. The future is bright as we move forward with this girls soccer program at Athens Academy and I can’t wait to get started.”

Petroski said it was an easy decision to add Hamby to the list of Spartans coaches.

“We are excited Judson Hamby will be joining our school and Spartan community,” Petroski said in the press release. “Coach Steve Stewart has done a tremendous job leading the girls soccer program at Athens Academy for 21 years, which has resulted in a high level of success. We wish him the best in his retirement and look forward to watching his final team perform the remainder of the season. Judson comes to Athens Academy from Parkview High School where he has built the girls program into one of the most respected and successful in the state. We are confident Judson will be a great addition to the school and we look forward to the quality attributes he brings to the soccer program.”

Hurlburt worked as the boys basketball coach at Elbert County High School beginning in 2016.

He has 20 total years of high school basketball coaching experience, 19 of which came as a head coach. Hurlburt previously spent 14 years at Etowah High School, where he served as head coach for 13 years of those years.

Hurlburt led Elbert to five state tournament appearances, three Sweet 16s and one Final Four round. Etowah reached five state playoffs and one Elite Eight under Hurlburt’s direction.

According to the press release, 24 of Hurlburt’s former players moved on to the college ranks. He has additional coaching experience in the AAU, club, college (Division I) and professional (Europe) ranks.

“I am honored and extremely excited to be the head boys basketball coach at Athens Academy,” Hurlburt said in the press release. “I am inspired by this opportunity and confident that my experience and leadership skills will nurture and motivate Spartan student-athletes to reach their full potential in their educational, athletic and personal experiences. I can’t wait to get started.”

Petroski said in the press release that Hurlburt will be a positive coach for the Spartans.

“Coach Hurlburt is a terrific addition to the Athens Academy school community and most importantly to the boys basketball program,” Petroski said. “We look forward to him meeting with the players and families to begin building positive relationships and skill development. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Coach Hurlburt the past few years and have a great deal of respect for him as a person and the qualities he brings to the basketball program. I’m confident the players and parents will enjoy spending time and working with Coach Hurlburt in the future.”