Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

January 23, 2013

Pearson leaves Packers to take job at South Alabama

MOULTRIE —  Travis Pearson, who led a resurgent Colquitt County defense the last two seasons, has resigned as the Packers coordinator to take a job at the University of South Alabama.

Pearson will return to the college ranks to coach the linebackers at South Alabama under head coach Joey Jones and new Jaguars defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer.

Pearson previously worked at Iowa State for Gene Chizik and was the head coach at Jeff Davis High School in Montgomery, Ala., before being hired by Propst to run Packers defense in 2011.

“He transformed our defense,” Propst said of Pearson. “He changed the mentality on the defensive side of the football and made the kids play better than what they were.

“He’s a major reason we won so many games the last two seasons.”

Propst also praised Pearson’s loyalty.

“And he’s a very, very high-character guy,” Propst said. “He’s a good father, a good husband. I think his character speaks for itself.”

Pearson was hired not long after Propst diagnosed with cancer and the head coach was not around for several weeks undergoing radiation treatments. But the new man on the staff went right to work.

“He’ll be successful in college football,” Propst said. “And he won’t be a position coach very long. He’ll move up the ladder very quickly.”

A native of Gilbertown, Ala., Pearson played college football at Alabama State and played eight seasons in the Arena Football League. In 2003, he was named to Arena Football’s 15th anniversary team as a linebacker/fullback.

He also was the head coach at Central of Haynesville and at Elmore County, both in Alabama before going to Jeff Davis.

Propst said Pearson was just the latest in a long line of outstanding defensive coordinators he has hired over the years.

In fact, Sherrer was a DC at Hoover High School under Propst for three years.

Other DCs who worked for Propst are Bill Clark, recently named the head coach at Jacksonville (Ala.)  State; Kevin Shirley, who went on to coach at Valdosta State and UAB; Todd Watson, now the head coach at Foley (Ala.) High School; Jeremy Pruitt, who was recently named the defensive coordinator at Florida State; and Jack Hines, who had a successful college career at West Virginia, Florida State, Samford, Auburn and Clemson.

 

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