Friday, June 14, 2013
Brian Lee claims to love a challenge. Say this for the new Eastern Montgomery High School football coach –he knows where to find one.
Lee is leaving one of the smallest football playing schools in the state for another in a move to 298-student EastMont from Thomas Walker in Lee County in the far southwest corner of the state, where he’d been coach and athletic director the past nine years.
Lee, 47, replaced Mark Poston, who went 42-35 in eight years including 13-1 in 2010 when the Mustangs were state Group A Division 1 runners up. Poston left to take over as coach at Nelson County.
“When I got to Thomas Walker, they won seven games the six previous seasons,” Lee said. “We were here three years before we had a winning season. Since then, we’re the only staff who ever had four winning seasons in a row there.”
Thomas Walker, whose 232 students in grades 9-12 make it the second smallest football school in the state, went 6-4 during the regular season four years in a row ending in 2011 and went to the playoff three of those years.
Since falling to Riverheads in the 2010 final, EastMont has gone 7-14 the past two seasons.
“That’s what I like to do, try to rebuild programs,” Lee said.
Lee had never intended to coach when he was playing football for Union College in Kentucky as an undergraduate. He graduated there in December and had intended to go to Samford University law school the following fall. Then he fielded an offer from a high school football coach he knew to return to Lee County to “help with the weight room.”
“So I showed up and the story goes, 23 years later, I’m still coaching high school football.”
Lee’s coaching record is 45-75 including three seasons at Lee High.
“The Cumberland District has been good to me here at Thomas Walker and I don’t want to put it down, but I was wanting to move up a little in caliber of competition,” he said. “Like I said, I love a challenge.”
That’s the attitude that got him hired to his new post.
“He comes from a small school mentality,” EastMont principal Danny Knott said. “We think that’s going to make him a real good fit here.”