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Dale Estes knew as a high school sophomore he wanted to be the head coach at Campbellsville High School.
But, until Perry Thomas talked his mother into letting him play football his “dream” job was to be the Eagles’ head baseball coach.
“What Chuck Smith was to Perry, Perry has been to me,” Estes said. “But, I owe so much to coaches like Jim Hardy, Jim Ward, Kent Settle and Jeff Richardson.
“They did a lot for me. I wouldn’t trade them for anybody.”
Thomas, who Estes proudly refers to as his “mentor”, not only got Estes involved in football, he also convinced the University of Kentucky-bound CHS graduate to stay home, attend Campbellsville University and help with the Campbellsville Middle School program.
“I’m just excited,” Estes said on Tuesday after being officially named the CHS head coach after the July 3 acceptance.
“We have to get pride, excitement and stability back in the program,” Estes offered.
“We have to get the players committed to coming to practice and committed to each other.
“We’ve got to get more numbers (players) and they have to play hard to get the program in the direction we need to.
“And, we’ve got to get stability back with our assistant coaches. Not only have we had four head coaches in five years we’ve also had a lot of assistants come and go.”
Estes said he felt he’s learned some things since his three-year stint as interim head coach in 2008.
“The biggest adjustment I found then was game-day management,” Estes remarked. “You have to prepare for everything — even the worst.”
Estes’ first staff will consist of Weston Jones as offensive coordinator, Blake Milby as special teams’ coordinator and junior varsity head coach, Jared Vaughn as assistant special teams’ coordinator assistant junior varsity coach and Zack Mings working with the wide receivers and defensive backs.
Jones will also work quarterbacks and defensive backs, Milby with running backs and defensive ends, Vaughn with the defensive line and running backs and Estes will be with the offensive line and linebackers.
The Eagles open Estes’ first season on Friday, Aug. 17 against Russell County in the fourth annual Forcht Bank Bowl at Campbellsville University.