By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Escambia Academy Headmaster and Athletic Director Hugh Fountain, who over 11 years led the Cougars to a 94-31 record that included two state championships, was introduced Monday (May 29) as the new head football coach and athletic director at Pike Liberal Arts School.
Fountain, whose teams also won four region championships, has served as EA’s headmaster since 2017. He will take over a strong program at a Christian-based school that is moving from Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) competition to Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) competition.
Pike Liberal Arts is located in Troy, where Fountain was head football coach at Charles Henderson High for 16 years. His 2007 Trojans team went 12-1 made it to the third round of the Class 5A state playoffs. Fountain also was an offensive lineman for Troy State University.
Fountain’s first coaching job came at Evergreen High School in 1988. He then coached at his alma mater, W.S. Neal High, for seven years.
John Ramage, who chairs the Pike Liberal Arts Board of Trustees, said in a Troy Messenger article that the school got just what it needed in the veteran coach.
“Hugh Fountain is a high-quality coach and more importantly a high-quality man,” Ramage said. “He has established history over the course of a long career of building football programs the right way.
“Coach Fountain has a Gospel-centered approach to coaching, which is a wonderful fit for the Christian values that Pike Liberal Arts is based upon. I am very proud to bring Coach Fountain and his wife, Susan, back to Troy.”
Chris McElhaney, president of EA’s Board of Trustees, said the board supports Fountain’s decision, which was faith-based.
“Coach Fountain has been dwelling in the ministry of God for some time now, and he felt like God was leading him,” McElhaney said. “Do we want him to go? Absolutely not, but he has to go where his faith leads.”
He added that assistant coach Mike Sims, has agreed to fill Fountain’s athletic duties.
“Nothing has been finalized, but Coach Sims has made a verbal commitment to take over as head football coach and athletic director,” McElhaney said. “Mike has been an integral part of EA athletics for the past four years.”
He added that a search committee is being formed to screen and interview candidates for the headmaster’s job, which the board hopes to fill by July 1.
“It’s going to be a tough spot to fill,” the board president said. “God has opened a new door for Coach Fountain; we feel sure he will open a door for Escambia Academy. We’ll rely on our faith.”