New PCHS coach ‘excited’ to lead Bulldogs

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It’s a sight that most fans of Pike County football have gotten used to over the last half-decade or so.

In each of the last four seasons, there has been a new face leading the way for the Bulldogs, as the program has had its own version of musical chairs with the head coaching position.

Again, the high school and community will be welcoming a new face this upcoming season.

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After a near month long search, Rodney Dollar, who was most recently the head coach of Tallassee High School, will be the new leading man at PCHS and with him comes not only a proven track record, but also a desire to be in the Wiregrass.

“I have always wanted to get back to the Wiregrass area,” Dollar said.

“I love it down there, and when this job opportunity came about, I thought ‘Wow, I get to get close to the Wiregrass and be a part of a program that can compete for a state championship every year’. This was something I could not pass up.”

Prior to his five seasons with Tallassee, Dollar spent eight seasons at Houston Academy.

In his 17 years of being a head coach, only three times has Dollar not helped his team advance to the postseason.

Incidentally, two of those three years came in the first years of his time with both Houston Academy, in 1999, and Tallassee in 2007.

Overall, the coach has a 127-53-career record including 15-13 in the postseason.

He has been a part of 10 or more win teams in five different seasons, and has won eight games or more seven different times.

There have only been three seasons where a Dollar coached team finished with a losing record.

The former Tallassee head coach led the school to back-to-back Class 5A Region 2 championships in the last two years.

Even with the coach’s impressive resume, it was a random phone call that helped him land the job.

“I was actually coming back from dentist appointment in Dothan when I decided to give (Superintendent Dr. Mark Bazzell) a call to see about the job and he and I just hit it right off,” Dollar said.

Now, with a new coach in place, Bazzell, as well as the rest of the community, hope this is the beginning of a successful productive relationship for many years to come.

“I have talked with (Dollar) at length about the importance of developing stability at the high school, and he understands that,” Bazzell said.

“He shared with my multiple reasons why he wants to be at (PCHS) and why he wants to be there for some time. I am convinced he is the right man for the job.”

One of those reasons helps stand Dollar apart from several of the previous Bulldog coaches.

“The difference between me and the other coaches that have been there is simple,” he said. “Those guys are all younger guys, while I am 51 years old. We don’t have any young kids to worry about, it’s just me and my wife.

“All we have ever known is football and we are going to feel very comfortable where we are.”

The official announcement for the hiring came Monday night and on Tuesday morning, Dollar was already at the high school meeting with his new players.

“I know these kids have been through tough time recently with all the coaches that have there,” Dollar said, “they have seen a lot of different philosophies.

“What I plan on doing is coming in there and asking them what they want to do, and what they feel comfortable in doing. We are going to mold ourselves around what the kids can do.”

The two sides will be getting to know each other fairly quickly as spring practices will be getting under way in the next couple of weeks.

And while it will give a fresh start for everyone involved, Dollar said he cannot wait to get things start.

“People down there expect to win it every season – and that’s the way it should be.

“I am looking forward to the challenge. The last couple places I have been to have all been down, but we have had to work hard to get those programs to where we want them to be. I am looking forward to getting into 3A football where I know most of my competition, and I have got a program that is already established – it’s extremely exciting.”