NEWS 12 EXCLUSIVE: Dade County reacts to hiring legend Pruitt
DADE COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) — It’s a well-known that Dade County is Dawg country. However, these Georgia fans will have to set their Red and Black ties aside as the father of current Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt takes over the football program.
“I mean, you can’t stop at a gas station without somebody asking, ‘Hey, is it going to be coach Pruitt? Is it going to be Coach Pruitt?” Dade’s new athletic director Brent Cooper said.
It is Coach Pruitt — Dale Pruitt to be exact. The Dade County School Board made the hire official Monday night.
“There were talks about it before, and we were pretty sure we were going to get him,” rising senior Ian Howell said. “When it just finalized the deal, it was kind of like a sigh of release I guess because everyone wanted him. He’s a great coach.”
A great coach with decades of experience, 13 region titles and four undefeated seasons.
“He’s such a humble guy when you start talking to him,” Principal James Fahnrey said. “He’s kind of like, ‘I’m just a ball coach.’ But I also remember an interview with Steve Spurrier a few years ago where he just refers to himself as a ball coach. You don’t want him doing your taxes, but when it comes to drawing up x’s and o’s he’s the guy you want.”
“My first question was, because I thought people may think that because of the years of experience that he’s had, I said, ‘Coach Pruitt, do you think you have the energy that it takes to come in here and turn this program around?’ And after two hours, like I said, I apologized for asking that question,” Cooper remembered.
Dade County needs that energy. The Wolverines finished the 2018 season winning just one game, and have gone three straight years with losing records.
“I think the toughest obstacle right now is just ourselves because we have to get past differences and everything and just realize we’re all out there for the same reason and enjoy the game,” rising senior Jackson Wilkins said. “I believe he knows exactly how to get us unified and going in the right direction.”