Pruitt leaves for Dade County

Dale Pruitt resigned as Albertville's head football coach Monday to take over the program at Dade County, Georgia. He went 26-17 in four seasons with the Aggies. He's won 289 games in his legendary career.

Albertville head football coach Dale Pruitt resigned Monday to become the new head coach at Dade County High School in Trenton, Georgia.

Pruitt, whose oldest son, Jeremy, is head coach at Tennessee, spent four years at AHS. He compiled a 26-17 record, including a 6-5 mark in 2018. He took the Aggies to three state playoff berths.

Pruitt retired as a teacher in Alabama following the 2017-18 school year. He coached the Aggies on a contract basis for 2018 and had renewed it to coach them again in 2019.

“The fact of the matter is you can retire in Alabama and go over in Georgia and be a full-time coach and teacher and still draw your Alabama retirement,” AHS Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Tyler Reeves said. “Paul Ellis at Fort Payne did that. It’s one of those things a lot of people do.

“It’s something financially that’s really good for folks. It’s one of those deals where it’s hard to blame somebody when a school contacts you and says they want to talk to you about being their coach.

“Coach Pruitt has been really good to us and great to work with, and we wish him nothing but the best.

“He was with us for four seasons and made the playoffs three times and came close to being four out of four.

“I really feel like Dale is leaving the program in good shape. Change is part of the business. It’s part of sports and always will be. It just comes with the territory.”

Reeves said Cliff Mitchell, the Aggies’ assistant head coach, will serve as interim head coach. The team kicked off spring practice April 30.

“Spring training will continue as planned,” Reeves said. “Everybody needs to continue doing things the way they were doing them this spring.”

Mitchell served as Albertville’s acting head coach at the end of the 2014 season. He did his student teaching at AHS and served on Sam Graham’s football staff in the fall of 2003 before being hired full-time in 2004.

“Coach Mitchell has really good rapport with the kids,” Reeves said. “He is actually the coach in the weight room with the kids every day. They already see Coach Mitchell as a leader.

“This won’t be new to him, because he’s had to lead the program before.”

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