For the second time in five months and the third time in two years, Jamey Dubose was introduced as the new football coach.
The former Prattville, Florence and, for a few months, Charles Henderson coach was unveiled as the new man in charge of Central High’s program at a board meeting in the school’s auditorium Tuesday night.
He takes over for the departing Woodrow Lowe, whose contract was not renewed by the Phenix City school board, it was announced last week.
While the new coach’s recent travels may raise a few eyebrows, he and his wife Tracey immediately went to work assuring the Central community that he’s in it for the long haul.
“I hope to never leave again,” DuBose said. “That will be determined by wins and losses and getting the job done. I’m happy to be here. I was looking for an opportunity to get back in this area at a large-school job. There are only a few jobs I was really interested in taking, and Central has always been one of those jobs.”
There were three jobs, according to Tracey, that fit DuBose’s criteria of a large school ready to compete for state championships. Central was the only one close enough to family. When it came down to it, it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, despite having just accepted a position at Charles Henderson in January.
“I wanted to take (the job) right away, of course, but the timing was something I had to think about,” DuBose said. “In a great scenario, you want to be there in January and February, but it didn’t happen that way. As in life, they’re not always going to happen perfect. This wasn’t because I was looking for jobs. This job came to me. I saw an opportunity to go after it. The goals I still have as a coach can be reached at Central High School.”
Among those goals is, of course, winning a state championship, something DuBose said was at the forefront of his mind when he heard about the opening a week ago. He reached out to Central High principal Tommy Vickers because he saw similarities between the Central program and the one at Prattville he coached for eight years, four as an assistant and four as a head coach.
At Prattville, DuBose won two state championships as an assistant and two as a head coach. He took over for Bill Clark in 2008, leading a team coming off of 56 straight victories and back-to-back state titles to a 13-1 record and another championship. It lost in the title game in 2009, in the second round in 2010 and won another title in 2011.
Overall, he was 42-13 at Prattville with three losses coming via forfeit for AHSAA rules violations.
Central will play with Prattville in Class 7A, Region 2 for the next two seasons at least. In five meetings, the Red Devils have never beaten the Lions. The last time the two met, Prattville knocked Central from the 2011 playoffs in the semifinals. DuBose tried to build his own program at Florence High in 2012-13, rather than continuing the success of his predecessor, but was admittedly unhappy being away from family.
He took the Charles Henderson job to move closer to family, but couldn’t turn down an opportunity like Central.
Vickers said he wasn’t concerned about DuBose’s recent job-hopping because of how long he was at Prattville. He added, too, that Central has a history as a job coaches don’t want to leave.
“When people come here, they stay,” Vickers said. “They want to be here and win championships at this location.”
This is only the Red Devils’ fourth head coach in the past 41 years. Wayne Trawick coached from 1973-97, Ron Nelson from 98-2009 and Lowe from 2010-13.
DuBose said he intends to keep the coaching staff as it is with the exception of his defensive coordinator, L.C. Cole, who he brings with him from his short period at Charles Henderson.
Cole has a long resume, having spent time as an assistant coach at places like Wisconsin, Kansas State and Cincinnati. He was head coach at Tennessee State and Alabama State. He was the running backs coach at Toledo under Nick Saban in 1990. Most recently, he was head coach at Wilcox Central High (Ala.).
DuBose called him his right-hand man. Cole said that his experience at the next level, including his time playing at Nebraska, would help him lead his new team. He said he had no reservations about following DuBose after so quickly taking a job at Charles Henderson.
“I told him whatever he wanted to do, we’re tied at the hip,” he said. “I’m with (him) wherever (he goes).”
DuBose said that the terms of his contract would be $90,000 for one year, renewed annually.
He expects to have the kind of success that will earn that renewal.
“I’m not in a three-year building process,” he said. “I came here because I think the program has in it the talent to compete and compete early.”
He met with a portion of the players, those who were in town, before the announcement on Tuesday. He will work with his coaching staff to learn about individuals and figure out an approach for the coming months. The team will begin its weight training program on June 2.