Georgia Highlands College has appointed David Mathis as the new Director of Athletics. Former Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Phil Gaffney has accepted a position as head coach for Gulf Coast State College’s men’s basketball team in Panama City, Florida.
Mathis has been with GHC for 26 years and has been instrumental in leading the athletics program from its inception, serving in an essential capacity as GHC’s assistant director of athletics.
Mathis is a very well-known member of GHC and a leader in the community, as shown by his record number of awards and recognitions, including GHC Alumnus of the Year in 2012; Organization Advisor of the Year and GHC Staff Community Involvement Award in 2011; the Vivian Benton Staff Person of the Year in 2002; Floyd County School’s Business Partner of the Year in 2005; the 2012 Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority Horace Anthony Volunteer of the Year Award; the 2014 Georgia Highlands College Presidents Meritorious Service Award; the 2017 Heart of the Community Award; and in 2019, he was inducted into the Rome/Floyd County Sports Hall of Fame.
As one of his first decisions as director, Mathis announced that the women’s basketball head coach Brandan Harrell will serve as the new assistant director of athletics. Harrell will continue to also coach the women’s basketball team.
Mathis has also appointed Jonathan Merritt as the new head coach for the men’s basketball team. Merritt has been with GHC for six years as an assistant coach and has helped the men’s team reach the national stage, as well as aided a number of players on to graduate and transfer to Division 1 and Division 2 teams in the NCAA and NAIA. Merritt graduated from Shorter University in 1994, where he played basketball for a number of years. In 2009, he was also inducted into the Shorter University Athletic Hall of Fame.