Former Lenoir-Rhyne head coach Drew Cronic makes himself heard in this file photo. Cronic was announced Tuesday as the new head coach at Mercer University in Georgia. Ernie Masche/Record

Drew Cronic's time in Hickory is over.

The former head football coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University is headed home to Georgia and the head coaching job at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Cronic was named Mercer University's 20th head football coach. Mercer Athletics Director Jim Cole announced Cronic's arrival Tuesday on mercerbears.com.

Cronic engineered one of the most impressive turnarounds in college football, taking Division II Lenoir-Rhyne from a 3-8 season in 2017 to a 25-3 record the past two seasons, the Mercer website noted. Cronic's Lenoir-Rhyne team reeled off 15 consecutive wins this season and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.

"It is a dream come true to be back in my home state of Georgia and to be working at a great institution like Mercer University," Cronic said on mercerbears.com.

Cronic will not need to learn a new mascot. Lenoir-Rhyne and Mercer both compete in athletics as the Bears.

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