Article on AL.com: LINK
The Foley football team has called upon a familiar name to try to recapture the Lions’ winning tradition.
Deric Scott, who led Vigor to the 2018 Class 5A state championship game, was approved Thursday afternoon by the Baldwin County Board of Education as the new Foley High football coach and athletic director.
The hire was originally reported earlier this month, though it was pending Board approval at the time. Scott was an assistant at Foley under Todd Watson before leaving for Vigor.
“It’s a great opportunity to build upon the tradition that a lot of great coaches have started and built,” Scott told AL.com. “I’ve obviously got some history in the community. We had a good run when I was there before, and we want to get back into that lane and try to repeat some of that success.”
Foley went 82-32 in Scott’s eight years there – the last six of which he spent as Watson’s defensive coordinator. However, the Lions slipped to 17-34 in the five years since Scott left. Foley’s last playoff appearance came in 2015.
“I’m ready to get to work, and there is a lot of work to do,” Scott said. “They’ve kind of fallen on tough times recently. It will take time to turn it around, and it will be a process.
“I think obviously one key will be building relationships in the hallways with the students and staff and also building those community relationships and partnerships and getting those folks more involved. We will work to get the right people in the right places to have success again.”
Foley principal Russ Moore said all the candidates he interviewed were qualified for the position, but he felt Scott was the best choice. He replaces Tad Niblett, who left to rejoin his brother Josh at Hoover.
“Deric worked with us before, and we knew he was an outstanding human being and an outstanding coach,” Moore said. “We’ve been pleased for him over the years with the success he’s had at Vigor. It was obvious to me he was the best fit for what we need right now. I’m really excited to have him on board and look forward to seeing him do great things for our kids.”
Scott went 41-21 in his five seasons at Vigor. The Wolves reached the playoffs each season. They went 13-2 in 2018, losing 43-42 to Central-Clay County. Vigor was 4-7 last year after returning just one defensive starter from its state runner-up team.
“I can’t say enough good things about Vigor and the situation I am leaving,” he said. “This was the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my coaching career because the administration at Vigor was great to me, and they are going to be really good in the next few years. I mean really good. However, with this situation, the relationships I already had at Foley and the opportunity to compete at a higher level were just too much to turn down.”
Scott’s challenge now is not just turning Foley into a playoff contender in Class 7A, Region 1 again but starting that process during a pandemic.
“It’s the most challenging situation I’ve ever been a part of, the most unprecedented situation any of us have ever seen,” he said. “I can’t come up with enough adjectives to describe it. I want to introduce myself to the kids as quick as I can and get an understanding of what has transpired in the community since I left. Then we will develop a plan moving forward.”