Dusty Goode resigned from his post last week after just one season at the school.
Dora’s next head football coach will be the Bulldogs’ third in three years and the fifth in seven years.
Goode, who revived the school’s program after several losing seasons, said the decision to step down had nothing to do with on the field issues.
“I’m leaving because I had philosophical differences with the administration. To be successful, you have to have total support from the coaches, the teachers, the parents and the community — starting with the administration,” Goode said. “In my opinion, our football program had support from every level, except from the administration.”
Goode informed the team of his decision on Thursday.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for me to make,” Goode said. “I took this job with the intention of retiring here. Apparently, it wasn’t meant to be. I told the kids how proud I was of what they accomplished. I wanted them to know that the decision had nothing to do with them. It was emotional on both sides. It was very hard telling them that I wasn’t going to be their football coach any more.”
Goode had no head coaching experience when he came to Dora. He came to the school after serving as Thompson High School’s defensive coordinator from 2005 to 2010. He was chosen out of 80 applicants.
Goode made the most of his one season at Dora, leading the Bulldogs to the second round of the 4A playoffs and their first winning season since 2006. Dora knocked off Brooks 34-14 on the road to open the playoffs and the Bulldogs finished 9-3 after a narrow 25-20 loss to Anniston.
Goode had a proven staff last year at Dora, including former Cordova head coach Pete Bush and former Cordova offensive coordinator Heath Saint.
“As a staff we worked together well. We had the same philosophy as far as coaching. I believe we had one of the best staffs in the state. Each of the coaches — Bush, Saint, (Michael) Bridges, (Hezzie) Morgan and (Eric) Tolbert — brought out each other’s strengths. As coaches we trusted each other and the players saw that. They bought in to what we were teaching them and they started to believe and trust each other. We came together as a team and it was very rewarding to watch these kids accomplish things they hadn’t done before.”
Under Goode, the Bulldogs opened the season with their first win over county rival Cordova since 2007 and they closed the season with their first win over Walker since 2006.
Dora had an exceptional year on both sides of the ball.
The Bulldogs’ offense averaged 36.6 points per game, the third-highest average in school history, and the Dora defense allowed just 11.8 points a game, the school’s best defense mark since the 1995 season.
“I wish nothing but the best for the football program. I’d like to thank the booster club for all of their support. They truly stepped up to the plate,” Goode said. “The principal who hired me was Ricky Pate. I’d also like to thank him for giving me a chance to coach at Dora High School.”
Goode plans on continuing his coaching career, but doesn’t know where he will be next year.
“My plans are to look forward, not look back. I’ve been doing this for 18 years and I’ll probably be coaching for the rest of my life.”
Attempts to reach Dora Principal Kathy James were unsuccessful.