Word has slowly been leaking out of Carriere throughout the week, but Pearl River Central made it official Friday with the announcement that long-time Forrest County AHS coach Larry Dolan will lead the Blue Devils football program.
"He's an experienced coach and of course he has a state championship under his belt," PRC athletics director Andy Kivlan said. "He runs a similar offense to Coach Collins, so I'm hoping the transition won't be as difficult."
Kivlan believes Dolan mesh well with the kids at PRC.
"We have hard working, blue collar, tough kids," Kivlan said. "They're going to give you 100 percent, so I think his philosophy will blend well with our kids."
Dolan comes to PRC after spending the last two seasons at Columbia Academy, where he posted a 12-9 record.
Dolan is best known as the Aggies' head coach. He had plenty of success at FCAHS, including a Class 4A state championship.
Over his last eight seasons at FCAHS -- from 2006 to 2013 -- Dolan compiled a whopping 81-20 record.
After his championship season, Dolan retired from the public school system to take the job with the Cougars.
"(This job) just felt right as far as the timing and all. This is a chance to take over a successful program and turn it into a championship program," Dolan said in between meetings Friday at PRC. "We're just trying to build a champion where every year PRC will be on the map and relevant."
Dolan raved about his new community.
"The people here and the kids and administration, it's just a football community," he said. "It's an athletic community. Whatever they're playing, their fans come out and support them.
"I'm excited about being here."
Having spent 14 years at FCAHS before his last two at Columbia Academy, Dolan hasn't been one to chase other jobs. Now that he's a Blue Devil, Dolan doesn't expect to refresh his resume anytime soon.
"My goal is to never interview for another job," he said. "This fit feels pretty good to me."
New AD, too
In addition to coaching duties, Dolan will take over for Kivlan as AD.
Kivlan has run PRC's athletics programs for the last five years but said he felt like this was the best time to take a step back.
"I just felt like I coached for 33, AD for five and it's time," Kivlan said. "I want to put my full effort into my position as assistant principal."
Kivlan joked that Dolan actually has more experience as an AD.
"He knows what to expect," Kivlan said of Dolan, who was AD at FCAHS for 12 years.
Dolan met his new players Friday afternoon and will start full-time Monday.
5 down, 1 to go
PRC is the fifth coach school to fill a football vacancy. In addition to Collins at D'Iberville, Stone hired former PRC defensive coordinator John Feaster, West Harrison promoted Tracy Rogers, George County hired Taylorsville's Matt Caldwell. Bay is now the lone Coast vacancy. The Tigers are looking to replace Jeff Hopgood, who left to be an assistant at Hancock under Rocky Gaudin.