Fountain leaving EA to coach football at Pike Liberal Arts

Published 1:48 pm Monday, May 30, 2022

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Sims is new EA head football coach, athletic director

Escambia Academy Headmaster and Head Football Coach Hugh Fountain was announced Monday as the athletic director and head football coach at Pike Liberal Arts School.

“My time there (at EA) has been tremendous,” Fountain said. “I don’t think I could have had a better 10 years. It’s been a wonderful 10-year experience for my family and me. When I went to EA, the very first day I met the members of my search committee on the football field, and I never dreamed it would turn out what it did.”

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Fountain coached at EA for the past 11 years, helping guide the Cougars to six-straight championship games in the Alabama Independent School Association. EA has won state titles in 2014 and 2017 under Fountain.

Fountain was 94-31 during his tenure at EA, including winning four region championships.

Fountain said he felt that this was the right time to move on.

“As you know in coaching, you’ve got to move when the time is right for you,” he said. “For me, it seemed like that’s what the Lord wanted me to do. I accepted some roles, of my own undoing (being a headmaster and football coach). At the time, they became too many roles. It obviously, gave me an opportunity to go back to being a football coach and athletic director.”

Fountain is no stranger to Troy. He served as head football coach at Charles Henderson High School for 16 seasons. Prior, he coached at W.S. Neal and Evergreen High School.

According to The Troy Messenger, Rush Hixon served as interim head coach at PLAS at the end of the 2021 season – leading the Patriots through the playoffs and to a national championship – before being named permanent head coach at the end of the season.

“I’m so appreciative of Coach Fountain accepting this position and we’re excited to get to work with him and it’s a great thing to get someone of his status to lead our program for many years to come,” Hixon said. “He is an exceptional football coach but an even better man. He’s a leader of young men and he will mold our guys and make them better, not just as athletes but as people, too. Anytime you have an opportunity to bring someone like this in it’s a no-brainer. It’s a home run hire in our minds.”

On administrative level, Fountain was named headmaster at EA in November 2017.

Fountain thanked all of the players, students and families for sending their children to the Canoe School.

“For all the boys who have played for me at EA, I can’t thank them enough for all they did and making the sacrifice to come to school there,” he said. “Everybody paid something to come to school there. It was a sacrifice, for them having to pay a bill to come to school, and for that I want to tell them thank you.”

EA School Board President Chris McElhaney said assistant football coach Mike Sims has agreed to continue as head coach and athletic director at the school, adding that both parties are working on contractual details.

Regarding the headmaster position, McElhaney said the school is putting together a search committee, and they’ve got a few candidates in mind for the position.

“Coach Fountain was a great headmaster,” McElhaney said. “We’re not rushing into anything. We feel confident we have some good candidates. We’re going to seek out the best person to do the job.”

McElhaney said the headmaster position should be filled by July 1.