EA’s Heath Gibson bounces back to win Coach of the Year

Published 3:12 am Monday, December 28, 2009

By By Chandler Myers
Losing is tough on a coach, but figuring out how to turn around a team that goes winless is even tougher. For Escambia Academy Cougars Head Coach Heath Gibson that task seemed daunting until his team opened the 2009 season with a 38-0 victory over the Sparta Warriors on Aug. 22.
After that victory, things began falling in place for the Cougars as they played more competitive football en route to a 7-6 record, a trip to the AISA semifinal game against the Monroe Academy Volunteers and the AISA Class 2A Coach of the Year award.
With that kind of fight and a team that improved in just a year, Gibson has earned The Atmore Advance’s Coach of the Year award.
Gibson said that being named Coach of the Year is a humbling honor that he shares with his team.
Winning is something all coaches enjoy, but losing makes victory even sweeter.
Gibson said that last season made him realize how important to enjoy what it means to win.
Several of Gibson’s teams have made the playoffs during his time at the Academy, but this year has a special place in his heart.
He said that it is probably the most successful year of his career because of the Cougars’ trip to the playoffs.
Gibson’s players respect the hard work he puts in and extend his leadership through themselves.
Cougars senior wingback Jon Dean said Gibson showed he and his teammates how to play as a team.
Now that the season is behind him, Gibson is focused on girls basketball, but the football team is never far from his mind especially with spring training not too far off.
Gibson said he is looking forward to getting back on the gridiron with his team next year and earning more success.

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