The Columbia County school board voted Wednesday morning to release former Lakeside football coach Jody Grooms from his contract.
Grooms' final day will be Friday.
After three seasons as Panthers coach, Grooms is leaving to become head football coach and athletic director at Wayne County High School. He replaces former Thomson assistant Mark Daniel, who was the Yellow Jackets' head coach and athletic director the past two seasons.
Grooms' record at Lakeside was 20-12. In 2009, he coached the Panthers to their first state playoff victory and the Region 3-AAAA title.
After the 2007 season, Grooms was stripped of his duties as athletic director and suspended the first two games of the 2008 season after the Panthers ran an illegal play during the final regular season game.
Grooms said last week his children would finish the school year in Columbia County. He said he planned to live in an apartment near his new school and commute to be with his family when needed.
Lakeside principal Jeff Carney and the school's search committee are accepting applications. They plan to conduct interviews the first week of March.
Grooms said he is bringing strength coach and defensive coordinator John Creager with him to Wayne County. Other Lakeside staffers might join them depending on the result of the Panthers' coaching search.
Reach Stephen Fastenau at (706) 863-6165, ext. 116