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Dallas County School Board hires new coach for DCHS

Darryl Burns was named Monday as the new head coach of the Dallas County High School varsity football team. Burns, who has a record of 13-8 as a head coach, coached the offensive line at McAdory High School in McCalla last year. Despite Dallas County’s 4-6 record in 2008, Burns said he expects to contend in Class 4A right away.

“Our expectations immediately will be to make the state playoffs,” Burns said. “And our goal will be to win a state championship.”

The school’s lone state championship came in 1990.

Regardless of wins and losses, Principal Don Ingram said the players would learn as much about life as they would football.

“We’re getting a coach that stresses academics and the spiritual growth of our kids,” Ingram said. “We’ve got a man that’s going to build the character of our kids.”

Burns began his coaching career16 years ago at Midfield High School, where he coached the defensive line, and he later became defensive coordinator. From there, he became defensive coordinator at Montevallo High School, became defensive coordinator at Midfield once again and was hired as defensive coordinator at Bibb County High School.

After his first year, he became head coach at Bibb County for two years.

For Burns, it has always been defense first. He plans to stick to that mantra at Dallas County, too.

“I believe if the other team can’t score, they can’t beat you,” Burns said.

Fortunately for Burns, football is as popular as ever at Dallas County High School. About 90 players signed up for spring football. Burns said the talent and pieces needed to win are there. Now, it is just time to go to work, he said.

“The potential for winning is there, absolutely,” Burns said.

Parents are also excited. A couple of parents stopped by Monday’s board meeting to meet the new coach. Lowell Butts, whose son Hunter will be a senior wide receiver and cornerback in the fall, said he believes Burns is the right man for the job.

“I think it’s a great decision,” Butts said. “They’ve got a great bunch of kids up there. I think they’re ready to go to work.”

Board member Mark Story said he voted to hire Burns because he would mold the students into more than just good football players.

“Not just a good athlete, but a good person,” he said.

Burns said he would bring a balanced offensive system with him. He said his team would do everything well while taking advantage of whatever the other team gave them.

“We’re going to try to run 50 and pass 50,” he said.

Story said he is confident with Burns’ record as a coach.

“I think he can develop the talent there,” Story said.

Superintendent Dr. Fannie Major-Mackenzie agreed. She said she is excited to see the team take the field in the fall.

“We’re confident that coach Burns will do a good job,” she said.

During his time at Bibb County, Burns said he saw firsthand what Dallas County could do on the field. Now, he is ready to step onto the other sideline.

“I’m just tickled to death to be at Dallas County,” Burns said. “I believe we can build the program back.”