Pisgah’s new football coach was Pisgah before he was anything else.
Luke Pruitt was born on the morning of Aug. 26, 1983. Later that night, his father, Dale Pruitt began his second season as head coach, leading one of the school’s greatest teams, also known as “The Kings of Pain.”
That night, Pisgah defeated Geraldine 19-0 to begin one of the best seasons in Sand Mountain history, allowing only two touchdowns through 11 games before falling to Hazelwood in the Class 2A quarterfinals.
Pruitt now returns to Pisgah, and like his father, takes over his first head-coaching job. He grew up in a football home with his father, who is closing in on 300 wins, and an older brother, Jeremy, now the head football coach at the University of Tennessee.
He played quarterback in high school, just like his dad and brother, always under a bit of a shadow. When your older brother is probably one of the top five football minds in the country that’s just how it goes.
But he never worried about that shadow.
“I used it to my advantage,” said Pruitt. “(Jeremy) knows football. I played for him and learned from him.”
At a proud school that has seen the girls succeed through the years in basketball and softball, it’s a great fit, Pruitt and Pisgah. It shows faith that the boys matter, too. Principal Billy Duncan had the chance to make a grand hire, and he hit a home run.
There is pride in Pisgah football, through the “Kings of Pain,” Sam Kenimer, Ray Maxwell, Roger Pruett and the run from 2000-2003.
Since the 2003 season, the football program has suffered through 10 losing seasons in the last 15 years.
Now, Pruitt has hit the ground running. He’s learned from his father, seeing how he handles the day-to-day of running a high school football program. He’s learned from his brother.
It’s his time now, out of the shadow of Dale Pruitt and Jeremy Pruitt. The good thing, though, is they are only a call away if he needs advice.
Who has better advisers? The best part of that deal?
“They’ll answer my phone call,” said Pruitt.