• 68°

Johnson arrives at Pike County

New Pike County head football coach and athletic director Robert Johnson was on campus in Brundidge for the first time since being hired Tuesday.

Johnson comes to Brundidge after 13 years as a head coach, 10 at St. James and three at Carroll in Ozark.

During that time, Johnson has complied a record of 81-62.

Johnson struggled last season at Carroll, going 1-9, but said he is ready for the challenge of meeting the high expectations associated with the Pike County job.

“I just love the tradition of this school, and the great facilities,” Johnson said. “These facilities here really are incredible. They have a real commitment to football here, and I just love the overall spirit.”

Johnson takes over for former head coach Eddie Stephenson, who went 9-1 in his only season at PCHS. Fortunately for fans and players alike, the Bulldogs should look very similar to the way they did under Stephenson.

Johnson‘s offense will be based primarily out of a spread wing-T and his defense will be a multiple 40.

“There are some similarities,” Johnson said. “They did some wing-T last year, and they did some spread. They also lined up in some 40 fronts on defense, so there should be some familiarity.”

Still, there will be an acclamation period for both Johnson and the players.

“Obviously, though, anytime you have a new coach, there are going to be some changes,” Johnson said.

“They’ve just got to used to what we’re going to do. They were well-coached last year, and I hope that will help us out last year.”

Some of the changes will undoubtedly involve the assistant coaches and makeup of Pike County’s coaching staff.

“We’re going to have to evaluate that situation as we go through the spring,” Johnson said.

“I know several coaches have expressed an interest in going to Alma Bryant with Coach Stephenson, but I also know there are several coaches who want to stay. But, I know some of my assistant coaches want to come here from Carroll. We’re just going to work with the situation.”

Johnson will begin working with players today in the weight room, something he said will be a cornerstone of the Pike County athletic program under his watch.

“We just want to come in and establish the work ethic we’re going to need to be successful,” Johnson said.

“The focal point for us will be weight training and work in the weight room, no matter what sport is in season at that time.”

While fans will have to wait until the fall to see how Johnson fares on the field, his excitement is undeniable.

“I’m very excited to hit the ground running, and I may not stop until Christmas,” Johnson said.