PASCAGOULA - Scott Sisson was prepared to walk away from coaching in 2010 when he announced his retirement as head football coach at Pascagoula High School.
"I retired on Wednesday. It hit the newspaper on a Thursday. I was just going to finish out my contract at Pascagoula with the two to three months I had left," Sissson said.
He had a job lined up to drive a hospital bus, but fate intervened.
The day after his retirement became public, Sisson received a visit from officials at Resurrection Catholic asking if he'd be willing to join the football staff at the small school located a short hop away in downtown Pascagoula.
At 11 a.m. on Friday, Sisson will coach Resurrection Catholic in its first Class 1A state championship game against Simmons at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford.
RCS has a football program with little tradition. The team didn't exist for 23 years until it was brought back to life in 2009.
While the RCS football program has had multiple coaches since it was resurrected, it's Sisson who has managed to guide the Eagles to unprecedented success. He joined the staff as an offensive coordinator and was promoted to head coach in 2013.
Sisson recalls discussing the move with his wife before he decided to commit to working for the Catholic school when his son, Larry, joined the discussion.
"He came into the room and said "'I wish you'd go to Resurrection. If you do, I'd like to come over and play for you,'" Sisson said. "That's how I ended up over here. It was by the grace of God."
Larry Sisson turned into a star quarterback at RCS, but he came up two games shy of reaching the state championship game last season when the Eagles seemed prime for a deep postseason run. He is now playing football at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College along with a pair of his former RCS teammates, Troy Cobb and Darius Kennedy.
A year later, RCS is in position to put the program on the state map with a win in Oxford.
Resurrection is 13-0 and ranked No. 1 in Class 1A by the Associated Press headed into Friday.
Simmons sits at 11-0 and is led by star senior athlete Nero Nelson, who is verbally committed to play football at Mississippi State.
Prior to working at RCS, Scott Sisson had a 26-year coaching career that included a long stint on the Moss Point staff. He had a 10-year run as a head coach at East Central and Pascagoula.
While he won a state championship as an assistant at Moss Point in 1991, Scott Sisson will look to earn his first state title as a head coach Friday in Oxford.
Scott Sisson's impact on RCS goes beyond the football field, according to senior running back Dillon Jolly.
"He's an amazing coach," Jolly said. "He takes care of players. He's a really good coach and he's a good guy outside of school. He's always willing to help you out and make sure everybody is healthy."
When asked how much he has enjoyed the 2015 campaign at RCS, Scott Sisson pointed back to his players.
"It's been fun, but let me make sure everybody understands that it's this group of kids that has made it so fun," he said. "They are so into it. They are so business like. It's not like I have to pull any teeth to get them to do something. These seniors have been with me for four years, juniors for three and sophomores for two. It's been a pleasure.
"I saw the seniors when they were ninth graders take some serious beatings. They've stuck with the program and I couldn't be prouder. They've developed into really good players. Their offseason work ethic has been outstanding and it's rubbed off on the younger kids."