Godfrey officially announced his resignation Monday in the school's conference room, just days after Donna Enis informed school officials and her team last Friday that she was stepping down as head girls basketball coach for Cartersville.
While Enis plans to remain in coaching after accepting the same position at Pickens High, Godfrey indicated no intention of returning to the sidelines.
"I've been in basketball since I was 10 years old. As you get older, unfortunately, health happens," said the 57-year-old Godfrey, who suffered a heart attack two years ago before experiencing another health scare this season at a Purple Hurricanes road game on Feb. 7. "[I] had the episode this year at Pickens where my blood pressure got over 200."
That recent health scare prompted the coach to tell his wife hours later he could no longer do it.
"Because of [wanting to spend time with] my family and health, I think it's just time to step away from basketball," added Godfrey, who has two daughters. "My doctor said, 'It's just a game. You win or you lose.' If I could approach it that way, I'd be fine, but I don't approach it that way. It means a lot to me, and it just comes a time when you have to make those decisions."
Godfrey, who has won 508 games in a career spanning 33 years, acknowledged the correctness he felt in making the decision.
"I just know it's the right thing to do, through prayer and [discussions with] my family," he said. "I think you know when it's time, so this is a good time to do it -- while my health still is pretty good. I'm on a bunch of medicines, but I just have too much passion and I just care too much about the game. I just can't take it as 'you win some, you lose some.'"
Godfrey won plenty of games over the years, leading the basketball programs at J.J. Kelly High in Wise, Va., Carter High in Knoxville, Tenn., and Dalton High before taking Cartersville to the state tournament in eight of his 10 years -- including the 2011-12 season.
The veteran coach noted it would have been harder for him to leave the coaching profession after the 2010-11 season, when the Canes struggled to four wins.
"I don't know if I could step away in that situation, but yeah, [leaving after a season where we made state] makes it easier," Godfrey said, catching himself while realizing the difficulty of such a transition -- whether after a playoff year or otherwise.
"I say 'easier,' [but] I don't know. I've never been [in a situation] like this. When I've resigned [before], it's [been] to go to another place, and now there's no other place, so I don't know what I'm gonna do. I'm at limbo about Oct. 31. I won't be in the gym."
Someone will have to be in the gym rather soon for the Canes and Lady Canes, who have summer basketball camps next month. Katherine Bradley, Cartersville's athletic director, would like to have someone in both of those positions as soon as possible.
"I know that Donna has a [summer] program lined up and so does coach Godfrey, and it would be in the best interest of the kids if there was somebody at the helm there to get those programs under way," Bradley continued of the job openings, which she said would be posted online at gasports.com. "We've already gotten some indications that various people are interested.
"We're, of course, accepting internal and external applicants. One of the first things we're looking for ... is varsity head coaching experience and success. That would be the best thing to have. But, if we have to look another direction -- maybe an experienced JV coach that has experience with a successful program -- that ... would be a good thing, too. We're encouraging anybody that fits into either of those categories to make a formal application."
Following his resignation announcement, Godfrey highlighted Canes assistant coach Darrell Demastus as a deserving and logical hire for the boys basketball program.
"Me and Darrell Demastus, we've been together 16 years. My other assistant coach [Marcus Starling] at Dalton was with me 16 years, and I give 'em a chance to coach and work and do a lot. I just think he deserves that opportunity. I don't know what else you could do. He drives almost two hours to work every day. He does 95 percent of the paperwork and all the budgets and all that, and during my illnesses he's had to coach a couple games. I just think he'd be the right person, with those kids, for the position," Godfrey said.
Cartersville has twice been to the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 and twice been region champion since Godfrey first took the reins at the program. He marvels at the accomplishments of his region championship teams, especially since they were playing against teams like Banneker, Carrollton and later Sandy Creek -- the Canes were not the favorites.
"It's tough [to win] at a school where you have to share the athletes as well as we do, between football and basketball," Godfrey said. "Baseball [doesn't] really [have to] share very much. Their program is so [far] up there if you don't concentrate on baseball, you won't make it.
"To win those [championships] in that region was very satisfying," continued the coach who has won 13 region championships overall and has been to four Elite Eights, four Sweet 16s and one Final Four.
Also rewarding for the coach has been watching former players come back as grown men.
"Seeing some of the [players] become young men now that [have] come back to see me -- that's why you coach, you're changing [those players] into men," Godfrey added.
Just four years from retirement, Godfrey plans to remain with the Cartersville School System and figures to watch a game or two in the area during his retirement from coaching -- "I may come to a game and get thrown out [by an official], I don't know," he joked.
" I just want to thank Jay Floyd for his support [during my time here]," Godfrey said of the outgoing Cartersville principal, who accepted a position at Lowndes High in Valdosta in recent months. "Ten years goes by fast, and it's been enjoyable. I appreciate the opportunity [by] the Cartersville School System, to hire me. I think we gave 'em a great product. I think we behaved and handled ourselves with class."