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McDole named new ECHS football coach

By By Paul Keane
Maryde McDole has been named the new head coach at Escambia County High School.
McDole comes to Atmore from Shaw High School, where he posted an overall record of 23-49 in six seasons at the helm. He also won a Class 5A state championship while serving under legendary Blount High School head coach Ben Harris, and he also served under Terry Curtis as an assistant at Shaw while also serving as an assistant at Baker High.
His college football career was a stellar one, as he won both All-SEC and All-American honors as a wide receiver at Mississippi State University. Currently, two of his four children are involved in collegiate athletics.
McDole replaces Frankie Bell, who resigned over the Christmas holidays after posting a 13-56 career record as head coach. That mark included straight 1-9 marks over the past three years.
McDole said he was happy to be coming to the Atmore area.
"I'm very happy," he said. "This is a very exciting time for this school and this area, and there is a lot of potential here."
Recognizing that numbers in the program had dwindled – with about 45 players suiting up for the Class 5A Blue Devils last season – McDole was busy Tuesday doing some recruiting in the hallways of both the high school and Escambia County Middle School.
"I'm doing some recruiting right now," he said during a telephone interview. "We have to build on the positives that we have here and try to get more players coming out for football.
"I'm going to be in the hallways, the churches, the YMCA and all over town working to convince players to come out for football this spring. There are a lot of good players that could help us, and we just need to be out there recruiting them to come out and play."
McDole said one advantage to the ECHS job is that competition for players will be less than what it was in the Mobile area, where players could transfer to different schools more easily. He added that the biggest challenge in the short term will be in getting players out of the classrooms at ECHS and ECMS to come and join him and his staff on the football field.
McDole also said he didn't anticipate any changes in the current coaching staff at this time.
Tentatively, spring football drills are scheduled for the end of April, as McDole said he wanted to let baseball and track season finish up in order to allow as many athletes as possible the chance to play football this spring.