Dusty Goode was the one left standing.
Goode was officially named the Dora High School football coach on Thursday at the Walker Board of Education meeting. He fills the void that has been open since November.
“We interviewed several people,” Dora principal Ricky Pate said. “We interviewed Dusty and it was a unanimous decision with the selection committee. We felt he was the best fit for Dora.”
Goode has never been a head coach. He has been the defensive coordinator at Thompson High School for the last six years.
He said he’s ready for the challenge.
“I’ve been an assistant for 10 years. I wanted to go to a community that cared about football. I think Dora is a place with a great opportunity. I think this a great place for my family. I look forward to coming here and building relationships with the kids,” Goode, 40, said. “I know they’ve had great tradition at Dora. Joey Jones and Johnny Wright had a lot of success here.”
In recent years the Bulldogs have struggled.
Dora is 7-34 over the last four years, but did show promise last season, making the playoffs under former coach Martin Glover for the first time since 2006. Glover had a 6-25 record in three seasons with the Bulldogs before being let go in November.
Goode is no stranger to Walker County. His first coaching job came at Cordova High School in 1994. He served as the offensive/defensive line coach under head coach Brian Maner. He has fond memories of his first Cordova-Dora game in 1994.
“I believe we won 3-0 and I just remember how many fans were there. It was my first game and I was in total awe,” said Goode, who was also an assistant for the 1995 Cordova team that won the Class 3A state title.
After his time at Cordova, Goode followed Maner to Buckhorn High School where he was an assistant for one year. From there he was on former Oxford coach Robert Herring’s staff in Newnan, Ga., and spent three years at McAdory High School before rejoining Maner at Thompson High School in 2005.
Goode is a 1988 graduate of Sparkman High School in Madison County. He played collegiately at Livingston College and graduated in 1993.
At Cordova, Goode was on the coaching staff with Pate.
“He’s been a coordinator for more than 10 years at Class 5A and Class 6A schools. We felt he was ready,” Pate said. “I know what kind of man he is. He’s the kind of man you want your children to be around. He’s a great role model and he has a gift in the way he can relate to the kids. I think we are on the threshold of getting back on top. We’re excited.”
Goode inherits a Dora team that had a number of near-misses on the gridiron last year. The Bulldogs lost three games by a total of five points and also fell to Cordova 13-7 in overtime in the season opener. The Bulldogs lose 11 seniors from last year’s team. Goode will put the team through spring practice in the upcoming months.
“This is good timing. I still have time to get to know the kids and put them through spring,” said Goode, who added that his wife Kristi is from Cordova.
“That’s going to make things a little tense,” Goode joked. The couple has one son, Thad, 7.
Dora will open the football season on Thursday, Aug. 25 at home against Cordova.
“I thank God for giving me this opportunity and I thank the Dora administration and the selection committee for having faith in me,” Goode said.