ALBANY -- When Jesse Hicks was in college studying to become a teacher and football coach, one of his assignments was to go in observation of a local coach while at Albany State.
Hicks chose to observe the late John Reynolds, for whom The Herald's Coach and Player of the Year awards are named after and who led Dougherty to the 1998 GHSA Class AAA state title.
On Monday night at the Dougherty County School Board meeting, Hicks was officially hired to take over the Trojans as well. In a 6-1 vote of approval, Hicks was hired to replace Charles Flowers, who is retiring from Dougherty at the end of this school year and will coach Troup County while working part-time next fall.
Dougherty board member Velvet Riggins was the lone person to vote against Hicks' hiring and did not return calls to The Herald asking for comment.
"It's a special situation because I got into the business of athletics for young people, and Dougherty also has a fantastic football tradition," Hicks said. "I feel this is a great opportunity for myself and we want to get this program back to where it was."
In 2005, under then-coach Carror Wright, the Trojans played for the state title but lost against Peach County.
Also, Felton Williams was officially promoted via a unanimous vote to become the Albany Indians' full-time football coach. The hiring of Williams ended an interesting two weeks. Originally, former Westover assistant and Windsor Forest head coach Mike Martin was set to be recommended for Albany, but after accepting the job offer, he changed his mind.
"Patience is a virtue, that's all I can say," said Williams, who was a longtime assistant before even becoming the interim coach last season.
Both coaches have their philosophies already in place.
"It's simple, man, you put the young people out there important, first," said Hicks, who was both a player and assistant at Albany State. "I want to treat each and every one of them like they're mine. You sacrifice and love each other, and that not only applies to football, but for life."
Williams, who was at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital with his ailing grandmother on Monday, said his main concern is putting the Indians in position to be successful.
"You maximize your players' potential by putting them in that best possible situation to be productive," Williams said. "Keep it simple and master what you're doing before you change a whole lot."