Coffee hires Fitzgerald’s Pruitt as head football coach

Region 1-AAAAAA keeps getting richer in football coaches. Fitzgerald’s Robby Pruitt, who has won 293 games and seven state championships in a 28-year career, is coming to Coffee High, the Tifton Gazette is reporting.

Pruitt was 120-21-1 in 11 seasons at Fitzgerald, a Region 1-AA school that has averaged 11 victories since 2004. His greatest success came in Florida, where Pruitt won state championships at University Christian (1987, 1989, 1991, 1992) and Union County (1994, 1995, 1996). See Pruitt’s record on Fitzgerald’s football Web site.

Pruitt became a front-runner for the Coffee job almost immediately when it opened in December. Coffee County superintendent Dr. Morris Leis helped hired Pruitt to Fitzgerald in 2000 when Morris was Fitzgerald’s athletics director. According to the Douglas Enterprise, Pruitt was listed as a reference when Leis later applied to become offee County superintendent, and the two have remained close friends.

The hiring of Pruitt gives south Georgia’s Region 1-AAAAAA six head coaches with multiple state championships on their resumes. They others are Colquitt County’s Rush Propst (five), Lowndes’ Randy McPherson (four), Camden County’s Jeff Herron (four), Valdosta’s Rance Gillespie (two) and Tift County’s John Reid (two). Reid was hired earlier this month from East Paulding.

Coffee, located in Douglas, was 21-24 in four seasons under Ken Eldridge and 5-6 last season.

In other news in 1-AAAAAA, Tift County’s former head coach, Jay Walls, was hired Wednesday as the head coach at Navarre in Florida.

81 comments Add your comment

Warner Robins Demons

January 17th, 2012
5:16 pm

1st

Thank God, The Demons don’t play in region 1 anymore…. WOW!

South gewja rules

January 17th, 2012
5:22 pm

WOW is right holy son of a biscuit they have some coaches in that region. If Reid stayed @ Alcoa in Tennessee he would have had 7 straight state titles

topper

January 17th, 2012
5:29 pm

That is a heck of a group of coaches! Is their any region in the state that have a group of coaches with that many state titles?

South gewja rules

January 17th, 2012
5:49 pm

Wow the upcoming years will be exciting to see who makes it to the playoffs out of that region

Randolph

January 17th, 2012
5:55 pm

I believe his Fitz record was 120-21-1. You have 120-121-1 (probably a typo).

Todd Holcomb

January 17th, 2012
6:14 pm

”That is a heck of a group of coaches! Is their any region in the state that have a group of coaches with that many state titles?”

Not even close. I don’t think there’s ever been a collection of coaches in a region like that.

CoffeeC100

January 17th, 2012
7:54 pm

@Todd H.

Word is a recent forfeit gave coach Pruitt the Florida State record for most consecutive wins at the high-school level. Around 50 I hear. Can you find anything on that? Also the Fitzgerald web site lists him with seven State championships. Four at University Christian and three at Union County. Can you verify that?

Thank God Dr. Morris finally hired Coach Pruitt. Coffee can finally look forward to having a football program. What an amazing region 1-6A has become.

Is there another region anywhere in the country that compares?

HS FOOTBALL FAN

January 17th, 2012
8:14 pm

Hey Randolph get some glasses

Randolph

January 17th, 2012
8:47 pm

HS FOOTBALL FAN — Hey, Gomer. He has since corrected it. It’s correct NOW, genius.

Brian

January 17th, 2012
9:47 pm

hmmmmm Pruitt couldn’t win state at AA Fitzgerald. How is the situation at Coffe any different?

Todd Holcomb

January 17th, 2012
10:10 pm

”hmmmmm Pruitt couldn’t win state at AA Fitzgerald. How is the situation at Coffe any different?”

He doesn’t have to play Buford. :)

Todd Holcomb

January 17th, 2012
10:11 pm

Coffee – You are correct. SEVEN state titles. I had five in my mind and stopped counting when I hit that total. Thanks for the corrections.

Camden74

January 17th, 2012
10:26 pm

This season’s gonna be AWESOME! :-)

Tift

January 17th, 2012
10:43 pm

I wish we would have hired coach Pilcher. Region 1 would have one of the best coaches in the state if so.

Coffee Trojan#44

January 18th, 2012
8:16 am

If people will stay out of coach Pruitt’s way and let him do his job, then this should be a great season for Coffee.

Coffee Trojan#45

January 18th, 2012
9:06 am

Who is in his way? Nooooo reason he should win!!!!!!

Coffee Trojan#44

January 18th, 2012
9:29 am

@Coffee Trojan#45, You know how the BS politics work at Coffee, the powers that be try to run things at Coffee and don’t let the coach make any decisions on how to run things. And you know the QB positon always go’s to the highest bidder at Coffee, even if that QB sucks, it’s all about the $$$ here at Coffee.

Football fan

January 18th, 2012
10:35 am

How many other regions have more than 2 coaches with titles to their credit

CoffeeC100

January 18th, 2012
10:46 am

@Coffee Trojans #44 & 45. I can’t believe you guys. You have done nothing but whine about how Coffee should hire Coach Pruitt and now that they have you immediately start whining about something else. You two are defeatist. You are already looking for excuses to explain away the losses that are still sure to come year after year in region 1-6A.

Some news for you. Coach Pruitt and Dr. Leis have been friends for many years. Even though Dr. Leis is overall school superintendant he came up through the ranks heavily invested in athletics. He knows what it takes to institute a winning program and knows enough to back off and let Coach Pruitt do his job.

Dr. Leis IS the powers-that-be in the Coffee County school system and the past politics were between the school administrative and the coaching staff supported by a few poerful boosters. The boosters that supported Eldridge did so out of blind loyalty for a fellow graduate of the Coffee school system and their own kids. That program, the program that existed when you were playing is dead and buried. Coach Pruitt has become the powers-that-be as far as Coffee football is concerned and he has Dr. Leis full support. Regardless, While Coach Pruitt knows that politics can’t be avoided, he won’t put up with politics interfering with his program.

From what I’ve heard, stepping on parents toes is something that Pruitt doesn’t give a second thought to.

Though Coach Pruitt will have some impact out of the box at Coffee, (Coffee is bringing back a pretty good core group from last year.) it’s going to take him several years to set up his system wide feeder program and get his brand of football instilled on the final product. Right now he needs all of our support.

From the information I am privy to, Coach Pruitt’s first move is to shake up his staff quite a bit. And a lot of assistants are going to fall out. He had a loyal staff at Fitzgerald, (Including a couple of ex-Coffee coaches), that won’t hesitate to follow him to Coffee. He and a lot of his old staff at Fitzgerald are chomping at the bit over jumping from 2A to 6A.

I’ll tell you what though. What a region he has chosen to step into. It’s going to be brutal, smart, smashmouth football. I can see region 1-6a having four teams in the semi’s a couple of years from now. That is if everyone comes out of region play without crippling each other.

I couldn’t be more exciting about the future of Coffee football. What a privilidge it is to be able to play in a monster region such as 1-6a. Instead of 1-6a being known as the little SEC, the SEC may soon become known as the big 1-6A.

So…. Come on guys. Get on the bandwagon. Lord knows it’s been a long time since we’ve had one we weren’t ashamed to even walk beside.

Welcome Coach Pruitt. Welcome to The Trojan Train.

Jim

January 18th, 2012
10:49 am

Last few years these teams beat one another up, marred the records so they had to travel in the playoff games. No clear winner. Result, the home teams near the Dome have won the state titles. The region winner should get a bye in the first playoff game. No sense in a number one seed playing a number four seed from another region. Fifteen games is too much. In a hard economy save some gasoline. Who says you have to play 10 games regular season? Shorten to eight games, then go to the playoffs with a bye the first round for the Region champs. I know we want all those games for the revenue, but times are tough on families. Think about your people and their families.

CoffeeC100

January 18th, 2012
10:56 am

@jim – Good point on the eight game regular season. Or maybe play just the region games plus one rival in the regular season. Unless the team happens to be in a very small region.

Jefferson

January 18th, 2012
11:47 am

Hope Fitz gets a good coach, they have been in the mix year in and year out over the last decade.

Coffee Trojan#44

January 18th, 2012
11:54 am

@CoffeeC100, I agree with you for the most part. I think Coffee will have a great program with Pruitt as head football coach. And I’m not whining or making excuses, I think Coffee will have a great team this year and get the 2nd or 3rd seed going into the playoffs, thow it is to early to make predictions.

Did you play football for Coffee? If so, did you play 2001-2004. If you did, then you know what I am talking about when I say politics play a big part in the Coffee football program.

coffee trojan # 45

January 18th, 2012
1:16 pm

Enter your comments here

coffee trojan # 45

January 18th, 2012
1:33 pm

“Some news for you. Coach Pruitt and Dr. Leis have been friends for many years. Even though Dr. Leis is overall school superintendant he came up through the ranks heavily invested in athletics. He knows what it takes to institute a winning program and knows enough to back off and let Coach Pruitt do his job.”

Should Dr. Leis be worried about making AYP. What I think Dr. Leis is good at is firing football staffs to make room for his buddy. That is all I have seen him do… Here is a little food for thought. At Wayne County they made AYP 3 years in a row before Leis got there. His 1.5 years = no AYP. There is no reason Pruitt should not win at Coffee he will be given everything he needs. Let’s hope that Dr. Leis is as dedicated to educating kids as he is to firing coaches. I mean that is his job right?

CoffeeC100

January 18th, 2012
1:35 pm

@Coffee Trojan #44 – Good job on being optimistic dude. I really don’t have any idea where we’re gonna end up next year. With the way the region is starting to line up all the new, distinguished coaching talent I would bet that everyone in the region is wondering what’s going to happen next year.

I played back in the ’60’s. When politics played an even bigger part. The politics will still be there. But I think we can trust they won’t play the big part they have in recent years.

Ya gotta wonder what the people over in Brunswick are thinking. Liike, “What in the hell have we gotten ourselves into?”

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Coffee Trojan#44

January 18th, 2012
2:00 pm

@CoffeeC100, Will 1-AAAAAA teams have to play the whole region schedule? Or will there be 2 sub-regions ?

wilcox

January 18th, 2012
4:03 pm

ask warner robins about pruitt, he is a good coach but when you get to the super region you better have a trick up your sleeve. all those championships at fla investigate the size of the school. also give the players at fitzgerald some credit those are some d1 players over there.

Camden74

January 18th, 2012
6:05 pm

I still believe it’s unfair that only 4 teams from this region will make the playoffs each year! :-)

DublinIrishfan

January 18th, 2012
10:02 pm

@wilcox Fitzgerald was a program that was a shell of its former self before Pruitt arrived. Fitzgerald is not loaded with d1 talent like Buford.

Plowboy - Viking

January 18th, 2012
10:11 pm

Next year. Lowndes Vikings:

08/17/2012–Thomasville Bulldogs(H)–Scrimmage
08/24/2012–OPEN DATE
08/31/2012–Luella(H)
09/07/2012–Newton(H)
09/14/2012–Windsor Forest(H)
09/21/2012–Hardaway(H)
09/28/2012–Colquit Co.(A)
10/05/2012–Brunswick(H)
10/12/2012–Valdosta(A)
10/19/2012–Coffee Co.(H)
10/26/2012–Tift Co.(A)
11/02/2012–Camden Co.(H)
11/09/2012–OPEN DATE

Valdosta Wildcats:

08/24/2012–???(H)

08/31/2012–???(H)
09/07/2012–Brooks Co.(H)
09/14/2012–Crisp Co.(H)
09/21/2012–Newton(H)
09/28/2012–Camden Co.(H)
10/05/2012–OPEN DATE
10/12/2012–Lowndes(H)
10/19/2012–Tift Co.(A)
10/26/2012–Colquit Co.(H)
11/02/2012–Brunswick(A)
11/09/2012–Coffee Co.(A)

Plowboy - Viking

January 18th, 2012
10:21 pm

Can’t wait……go plowboys

CoffeeC100

January 18th, 2012
10:39 pm

@Coffee Trojan#44 – Yeah man. Every team in the region will play every other team with four moving on to the tournament. More than likely some teams with a good chance of going deep into the playoffs are going to be left sitting at home.

No doubt we’ll have the top two traveling schools in the state.

CoffeeC100

January 18th, 2012
10:48 pm

@Wilcox – Pruitt only coached at Warner Robbins one year, 2003. He left to go back to Fitzgerald the next year knowing he had built a really good team in the one year he was there. How did he know? The next year Warner Robbins took state with a 14-0-1 record under their new head coach. That after the one year under Pruitt.

Coincidence? The new head coach? (Hasn’t come close since). I don’t think so. Check up on things before you throw them out there.

jvillebil

January 19th, 2012
7:57 am

I’ll tell you what’s funny. Everyone on this blog knows that region 1-AAAAAA in Georgia is the best football region in the nation. I’m sure there are other states like Texas and California that think there are some regions like this one in their state, but in reality they’re aren’t any. When you look at the teams, the coaches & the history it really makes you appreciate what everyone is about to witness next season. I just wish I had some region 1-AAAAAA pay per view and about 5 large screen TV’s set up in my den for the 2012 season. LOL Should be a great season.

Coffee Trojan#44

January 19th, 2012
8:19 am

@Plowboy – Viking,

Do you know where I can find Coffee’s 2012 schedule at?

wilcox

January 19th, 2012
9:16 am

how about buford and calhoun never could get past those teams,and now he has the task of going against camden,lowndes,the packers,valdosta,and tift with the talent they have this year can win the region.like i said he is a good coach,but the players are what makes it happen.ask steve spurrier,from fla to s carolina.

Jefferson

January 19th, 2012
10:39 am

DublinIrishfan

January 18th, 2012
10:02 pm
@wilcox Fitzgerald was a program that was a shell of its former self before Pruitt arrived. Fitzgerald is not loaded with d1 talent like Buford

Calhoun is not loaded with D1 talent like Buford either, no AA team has.

Fitz has a good tradition of winning, hopefully they will carry on the tradition.

wilcox

January 19th, 2012
11:30 am

you are correct about fitzgerald they want miss a beat,they will have the best chance of wiinning it all this year now that calhoun and buford have moved up.what im saying is its ok to brag about a coach,but sometimes we get so focused on the coach we forget about the players,who go through the drills and sweat and play through injuries so one person can brag about winning 7 state titles.a coach is only as good as the players he surrounds his self with.paul bear bryant.

Jefferson

January 19th, 2012
11:43 am

To my knowledge, Calhoun is still AA.

wilcox

January 19th, 2012
12:02 pm

i just dont see him winning at coffee.this is the sec of high school football and only the strong survive.,

Camden74

January 19th, 2012
7:15 pm

Whatever happened to being fair? :-)

We are still trying to complete our schedule for the 2012 season but our Region 1 AAAAAA schedule has been finalized. We have tried to get one of our away opponents to swap and play us at home this year but unfortunately had no success. That means that we will have to travel to Valdosta, Lowndes, and Colquitt; our 3 longest trips this upcoming season. We will play Tift, Coffee, and Brunswick at home. The schedule for the region is listed below. We hope to have the non region schedule complete in a couple of weeks.

9/28 at Valdosta
10/5 Coffee
10/12 Tift
10/19 Off
10/26 Brunswick
11/2 at Lowndes
11/9 at Colquitt

57Cat

January 19th, 2012
11:41 pm

Hey, Camden74 – What did you all do to “win” the honor of having to play Valdosta, Lowndes, and Colquitt away in your first year in 1-AAAAAA? I like it, ’cause I’ll likely get see all three of those games – at least I’ll see you at Bazemore-Hyder and Martin stadiums. It depends on who the Cats play, and where, on whether I’ll be able to run over to Moultrie to see your game there. I realize in 2013 you will have all three of those at your place. Ain’t South Georgia football great?

I’m not sure yet who the Cats season opener will be. Rumor has it that Coach Gillespie is attempting to schedule a nationally ranked out-of-state team to open up with, maybe with some TV exposure. I hope he gan it done.

CoffeeC100

January 20th, 2012
12:38 am

@Camden 74 – That’s a tough row man. Lowndes and Colquitt back-to-back and on the road. That’s usually the kind of traveling and competion Coffee has in the play-offs. Traveling to Atlanta as a fourth seed to play number one seeds. Believe me though. We’ll be happy with a number four seed the next couple of years.

With the kind of competition we’re going to have in 1-6A in a couple of years going up north as a fourth seed is going to be like a break in the schedule.

Camden74

January 20th, 2012
2:08 am

57Cat…..Camden must have pissed off the wrong people! I thought at least one of the BIG 3 games would be in Camden, but I guess the powers that be saw things differently! Guess I’ll have to change my plans! You gotta be careful when playing tv games and classics, you’ll be schedule to play one team, then, before you know it, you’ll be playing an entirely different team. I’m waiting to see Camden’s complete schedule. At one point, Camden was trying to schedule one if the perennial national powers. But with the regional schedule as it is, they have their hands full already! :-)

Camden74

January 20th, 2012
2:20 am

Coffee100……..I believe Camden will be okay! It will be a tough season, but they will make the playoffs easily! I’m not crazy about the team having to travel to their three toughest games, but they will surprise a lot of people! I just hope the region doesn’t get screwed with the playoff brackets! :-)

1-AAAAAA (SEC REGION)

January 20th, 2012
7:48 am

Lowndes doesn’t play Ware Co.this upcoming season?? This will be the first time since 1993 that Lowndes will not play Ware Co. But that’s okay, we have new teams to make rivalries with now.

1-AAAAAA..!!

topper

January 20th, 2012
8:10 am

Camden74 – Do you have any insight as to who the non-region games might be?

wilcox

January 20th, 2012
9:56 am

i guess the comment about the ghsa was over the top ,i will say one thing about coffee county football,gene wade is the best high school radio play by play announcer hands down.he makes you feel like your at the game.he would be a great fit for the ga bulldogs.was coffee forced to move to the super 6 region or could they have stayed in regionaaaaa?