Powell named head football coach at Georgiana

Published 5:34 pm Monday, May 6, 2013

Members of the Butler County Board of Education unanimously decided on the new face of Georgiana School’s football program during Monday’s board meeting.

It is a face that many in the community already find familiar.

McKenzie School defensive coordinator Ezell Powell was formally hired as Georgiana’s new head coach on Monday. Powell will replace David Watts, who resigned on April 18.

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The Panthers won three games in the past two years under Watts’ guidance — two games in 2011 and just one in 2012.

Powell will continue to teach at McKenzie until the end of the school year, where he also serves as head coach of the softball and girls’ basketball teams. He said saying goodbye to his students was the most difficult task of all.

“The people in the community, the kids and everybody there sort of went out of their way to make my stay in McKenzie an awesome one,” Powell said. “I’m truly going to miss the kids, the parents, all the friends and the relationships that were built on a day-to-day basis. It was very disappointing having to tell those young men and women today that I would no longer be there, and I just hope that they understand my decision as time goes on.”

Powell began his coaching career in Rosedale, Miss., as a defensive coordinator for four years.  Afterward, he received his first head coaching position at John F. Kennedy Memorial High School for two years, posting a 9-3 record both seasons.

Finally having an opportunity to coach at Georgiana, his alma mater, is one of Powell’s biggest dreams coming full-circle.

“It’s home for me, and I want to get in there and meet as many kids as I can and try to get practice started, and just get work started for the new season,” Powell said. “My experiences in Mississippi and McKenzie have made me a better coach, and I hope to show it over the next coming years.”

Georgiana School principal Ward Thigpen was also present for Monday’s meeting, and he said that he feels Powell will be a good fit for the program.

“I feel like, being a native of Georgiana, he’ll have a lot of community support,” Thigpen said. “He has enough pride in Georgiana, being a graduate there, that he’s going to work very hard to build a program and to move forward.”