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Meet Coach Rico Zackery

Westlake Head Football Coach

Article by Shandra Hill Smith

Photography by Carlisa Productions and Hi Lights Sports Media

Originally published in SOFU Lifestyle

For Rico Zackery, taking the head football coach position at Westlake High School in Atlanta means a return to coaching on the high-school level plus an opportunity that also could prove a win for him and his family.

On a personal level, “My wife and I had been looking at the area as a place to relocate,” said Zackery, who, with his wife, Sikithea, shares two daughters: Skylar, who will turn nine on Nov. 6, and Sydney, 6. “We thought it would be good place to raise our kids and grow as a family. When the Westlake job came open it made sense to look at it.” They now reside in beautiful #SoFu. 

Professionally, Zackery, a native of Newnan, gets to join a successful program that “has a good reputation as a place that can compete year in and year out” and one with a history of winning. “Westlake has always been a successful program in terms of winning,” said Zackery. “We would like to be a championship program. We work toward that every day. It's a process.” 

Zackery, too, has had his share of wins. His career record is 41-18.

He spent three seasons as defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator at Kennesaw State University. His high-school experience includes the head coaching role at Villa Rica High School and head coach at Central Carroll High School. He also was recruiting operations director at Georgia Southern University, his alma mater for undergraduate studies. 

“From 2013-2015, we went 30-6 and won the first region championship in several years at Central,” he said of the school where he spent five years, with the first two as defensive coordinator. He would spend the next three years as head coach.

One long-term goal Zackery, has for Westlake, his alma mater for undergraduate students, and who received his bachelor of science degree in commercial recreation and tourism from Georgia Southern University — has for Westlake, which returns to Class 7A this year, is to “create a culture built off toughness, effort, attitude and mentality,” he said. “Developing these things will help us maximize the talent we have in the classroom and on the field.” 


  • Carlisa Productions
  • Hi Lights Sports Media