Chuck Williams: Central sets its priorities with Jamey DuBose hire

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comMay 27, 2014 

Meet Jamey DuBose, head football coach at Central High School.

He was introduced Tuesday night by Principal Tommy Vickers, who came off a beach vacation to make the announcement.

He is the fourth Red Devil coach since Wayne Trawick landed in Phenix City in 1973.

That's more than four decades from Trawick to Ron Nelson to Woodrow Lowe to DuBose.

Central High School is DuBose's fourth job since the fall of 2011.

Think about that. In the time it has taken Central's Class of 2015 to go from freshmen to seniors, DuBose has gone from Prattville to Florence to Charles Henderson High in Troy.

That, my friend is a journeyman -- though in his defense he spent eight years at Prattville as an assistant and head coach. He won two state titles as offensive coordinator and two as head coach -- the last coming in 2011.

Central hired DuBose because he can win -- and win big.

DuBose is now changing his coaching attire to red and black because Central has a deep and wide pool of talented football players -- always has.

He knows there will be scrutiny. He was hired at Charles Henderson in January, looking to get back to the southern part of the state. He left without ever coaching a game.

"I know the timing of this job is not great," DuBose said Tuesday night.

The timing is bad on both ends of this transaction.

The folks at Charles Henderson, which reached the 4A title game last year, can't be happy with DuBose. And he takes the Central job after Woodrow Lowe -- the greatest football player and ambassador Central has known -- was fired to move the program in a different direction.

Ironically, DuBose said he will bring stability to Central.

"I have been stable everywhere I have ever been, it just looks bad right now," he said.

It kind of does look bad, Coach.

But you can win them over. All you have to do is win. And winning is not 9-3 and an early playoff exit.

That is what this is all about. Lowe failed to make the playoffs in his fourth season and is out, despite a 33-13 record.

He never got past the state semifinals, where he lost 45-12 to a Prattville team coached by DuBose.

DuBose was clear about his goal at Central.

"For me, it is always a state championship," he said.

His wife of eight years, Tracey, just smiled. She's a coach's wife. She has her suitcase packed, not a bad idea considering the last four years.

She, too, will be working as a coach at Central, a graduation coach as well as guidance counselor. And DuBose made certain people knew Tracey was part of the package.

"She will be on the sideline each and every Friday night," DuBose said.

It only took a week, and Central moved away from its storied history to a man they are betting will write a new history -- one that includes more state titles.

Good luck, Coach. You may need it.

Because when December rolls around, you better be the one turning off the lights as the entire town of Phenix City makes the 40-minute drive to Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium for the first Class 7A state title game.

You better be the one leading the mighty, mighty Red Devils to the promised land occupied by the Prattvilles and Hoovers of the world.

Anything short of a state championship will be a failure. Central's last title came in 1993.

How's that for pressure?

And DuBose knows a little about pressure. He coached in the shadow of legendary Prattville Coach Bill Clark, and he did it to the tune of two titles.

This ought to be a piece of cake.

By hiring DuBose, Central has made a bold statement -- that nothing matters more than a state championship.


It means more than hometown loyalty.

Winning a state championship now means everything.

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