Wayne Groves, defensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coordinator at Rome High School, has been named head football coach at Darlington School.

“Coach Groves has been a key component of Rome’s remarkable success, which has included six region championships and two state championships,” said Head of School Brent Bell in his announcement to the community. 

Three times during his tenure, Groves led the No. 1 defense in the state. Prior to his work at Rome, he was the defensive coordinator at Valdosta High, where his 2014 defensive unit was ranked No. 1 in AAAAAA in points allowed.

“My objective is to coach and teach students to reach their full potential in and out of the classroom and to be a positive role model for students and push them to be great citizens and student-athletes,” said Groves. 

A Floyd County native, Groves was a multi-sport athlete at Pepperell High School. 

“Throughout the hiring process, I have been very impressed with Coach Groves’ desire to help students reach their full potential and enjoy the benefits of being a valued member of a team,” said Bell. “His commitment to the individual as a part of something bigger than themselves makes him a great fit for Darlington.”

Darlington will host an opportunity to meet Groves and his family on Monday, Feb. 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the Huffman Athletic Center. 

Groves replaces longtime head football coach Tommy Atha, who announced his retirement last month after 30 years of service to Darlington.