Overton joins Prattville staff
Tharptown football coach Dale Overton was officially hired as running backs coach at Prattville by the Autauga County school system last week.
Overton, whose resignation was accepted at the Franklin County school board meeting June 19, joins the staff of first-year Prattville coach Jamey Dubose, who was hired this spring after former coach Bill Smith accepted the defensive coordinator position at South Alabama.
"Coach DuBose contacted me in March and when he knew he had the job, he called me and asked what it would take for me to come down there," said Overton, who will also coach special teams and assist with play-calling. "To have the honor and privilege of working with the No. 1 team in the state, I couldn't say no.
"And it's a great opportunity to learn offensive football because they run the spread offense like the one we used at Tharptown."
Prattville, which has 168 players on its varsity roster, went 15-0 in 2007 and has won the Class 6A state championship the past two years and was ranked No. 9 in the nation by ESPN, which will broadcast three of the Lions' games this fall.
Overton, a Hackleburg native and a former wide receiver at Auburn, has also coached at Central-Phenix, Chilton County, Auburn High School and Beauregard.
At Tharptown, Overton guided the Wildcats to a 5-5 record in 2006 and a 7-3 mark in 2007, the first full varsity season for the young program.
"It wasn't easy telling the team I was leaving but the hardest part was having our athletic banquet (May 15) and the spring game the next day, and knowing it was my last time with them," Overton said. "I didn't want to say anything and have it be a distraction for the game until I knew it was a done deal."
Tharptown will play its first region schedule this fall as a member of Class 1A, Region 8, which includes Shoals Christian, R.A. Hubbard and Hazlewood.
"It will be a tough challenge for them this season, but I believe they have a chance to make the playoffs," Overton said.
Tharptown principal Darit Riddle said he would like to hire a new coach as quickly as possible.
"We're looking for someone who is enthusiastic and will realize it's a challenging job," said Riddle, who was the program's first coach. "It's a good job, and it's a job where you can come in a build a program.
"You hear about those coaches who stay at a school a long time and have a stadium named after them – it's that type of job."
Tharptown history teacher and assistant coach Barry Laster, who worked with the offense last year, is currently running summer workouts and is a candidate for the head coaching vacancy.
"Coach Laster is an offensive minded -oach, and he would do a good job," Overton said. "I hope he gets it, and I think the kids would like for him to get it."