Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 14, 2013

Pilcher headed to Berrien

Longtime football coach has won 241 games, five state championships

NASHVILLE — Ed Pilcher, who has won a string of titles in his long history as the head coach of three high school football programs, was hired Tuesday night as the new head coach of the Berrien Rebels, according to Berrien principal Angie Lovein.

Pilcher replaces Rob Armstrong, who resigned after a single season last month to take an assistant position with Clark Atlanta University.

Pilcher, who resigned from Bainbridge in late January after five seasons at the helm, has also been the head coach at Early County and Thomas County Central. He won five state championships at Central.

At Bainbridge, he went to the state playoffs in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Last year, the Bearcats went 7-4 and lost at Union Grove in the first round of the playoffs, breaking a string of four straight wins.

Pilcher has a career record of 241-94-1 in 28 seasons as a head coach.

Thomas County Central made the postseason every season that Pilcher was there, a span covering 1991-2007. The Yellow Jackets were dominant in the mid-1990s, winning Class AAA state championships in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997. They were also state runners-up in Class AAAA in 2002 and made the semifinals in 2003 and 2007.

Before going to Thomas County Central, Pilcher was the head coach at Early County. After a rough start in 1986, the Bobcats went 5-5, then made three straight postseason appearances, including trips to the semifinals in 1988 and 1990.

Berrien will be a contrast. The Rebels last had a winning record in 1995 (5-4-1). They have made it to the postseason just six times in nearly 60 years, including a single appearance in the state tournament in 1991, when they defeated Seminole County in the first round before falling to Mary Persons in the quarterfinals. Their last playoff appearance came in 1993. Since that final appearance, they have gone through 10 head coaches, including three in the past three seasons.

Armstrong’s team went 3-7 in 2012, after two straight 1-9 campaigns. The Rebels won two of their first three games, and broke their string of 16 consecutive region losses.

Berrien plays in one of the most competitive regions in Class AA. Brooks County, Cook, Fitzgerald, Thomasville and Early County have all made at least one appearance in the state quarterfinals since 2006.

Pilcher is not totally unfamiliar with the Rebels. He served as an assistant coach under Berrien head coach Bill McCall from 1983-85, a span where Berrien went 16-13-1, including two consecutive winning seasons. He left Berrien to take the head coaching job at Early in 1986.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • pilcher.jpg Berrien competes in 6-team passing camp

    If Ed Pilcher had his way, Berrien High would never throw the football.
    But that doesn't mean the veteran coach doesn't enjoy the opportunity that a passing league, or the six-team passing camp at Cairo on Thursday morning, can provide his Rebels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Lowndes_Tville 2.jpg Sneak Preview

    Fall practice doesn’t start for another eight days.
    Still, Lowndes High and Thomasville High got a sneak preview of what Friday nights will look like Wednesday morning at Martin Stadium.

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Brooks_1.jpg Making progress

    Four weeks ago, the Brooks County Trojans took Highway 84 west to Thomas County for a 7-on-7 passing league and on Tuesday morning the Yellow Jackets returned the favor, traveling to Quitman for the second 7-on-7 of the summer between the two teams.
    At the first 7-on-7, Thomas County Central had not yet decided on a replacement at quarterback after the school's all-time leading rusher Adam Choice departed for Clemson, but junior Eli Taylor began to make strides towards being the Jackets’ starting signal caller. On Tuesday Taylor's competition got a chance to shine.

    July 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More