By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Hugh Fountain’s tenure as head football coach and athletic director at Pike Liberal Arts School (PLA) was a short one.
The former Escambia Academy and W.S. Neal football coach, whose signing of a reported five-year contract was announced by the Troy-located independent school last week, has decided not to take the job
PLA Headmaster Eric Burkett told Al.com on Monday (June 6) that Fountain “had chosen not to fulfill his contract” and “is no longer athletic director or head football coach” at the school.
According to an article that appeared on the Troy Messenger website on Monday, Burkett said Fountain called him over the weekend to inform him of the decision. Fountain reportedly told Burkett that “another opportunity, closer to his family” had arisen, and he would not be able to honor the contract.
PLA is moving from the Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) to the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) this fall, though the football team won’t be eligible for postseason play for two seasons.
Fountain spent the last 11 years at Escambia Academy, where his teams went 94-31, won two AISA titles (2014, 2017) and played in the AISA state championship game each of the past six years.
He has a 253-133 record in 35 seasons as a head football coach. He was head of the football program at Evergreen High for a year, at W.S. Neal High for seven years and at Charles Henderson High in Troy for 16 years prior to taking the EA job.
“Pike Liberal Arts will continue to pursue excellence in all areas with academics being our largest priority and athletics being an important cornerstone of our Christian-based educational experience,” Burkett said in a statement published by Al.com.
Attempts to reach the former EA coach by Tuesday’s press deadline were unsuccessful.