Moultrie Observer

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January 22, 2011

Dawson named Region 1-AAAAA's top AD

MOULTRIE —  Colquitt County’s Darius Dawson, who has worn many hats in his career at Colquitt County, as been named as the Region 1-AAAAA Athletic Director of the Year.

A 1990 graduate of Colquitt County High who also has been a coach and assistant principal at his alma mater, Dawson is the first Colquitt County athletic director to receive the award since it was first presented in 2003.

Dawson has been the athletic director at Colquitt County since 2005 and oversees a department that includes nearly all Georgia High School Association sports.

Rush Propst oversees football operations.

For several years, Dawson also served as an assistant principal while also coaching the linebackers on the Packer football team.

He has twice briefly stepped away from coaching to concentrate on his other duties and his family, most recently last May.

But he rejoined the football staff in November as the Packers started their playoff run and essentially ran the defense and coached the linebackers.

He also continued in his role as athletic director.

“He’s a great asset to our school and our community,” Colquitt County High Principal Bob Jones said. “He’s well thought of in the community and the kids think a lot of him.

“And kids play hard for him.”

Jones said Dawson been able to juggle wearing his several hats well over the years, while also continuing his education.

“He has been able to manage all that real well,” Jones said. “It’s been a tough job. And it’s been a strain on him especially when having to divide his time with his family.”

Dawson has been instrumental in helping the coaches of the school system’s varsity and middle school teams plan more effectively, Jones said.

“And he has become more of a voice in the region meetings,” Jones said.

After an outstanding career as a linebacker at Colquitt County High, he went on to a stellar career at Georgia Southern, playing on a national championship team as a freshman.

He returned to Moultrie in 1997 to join Jim Hughes’ staff as linebackers coach and worked for head coach Mike Singletary from 2000-2004. Dawson continued to coach the linebackers for one year under Tim Cokely in 2005, before stepping down to concentrate on his athletic director and assistant principal duties.

He returned to coach the linebackers for Propst in 2008 and 2009, but resigned again last May, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

After the Packers struggled defensively during the 2010 regular season, defensive coordinator Jack Hines resigned and Dawson rejoined the staff and coached the defense for the final five games of the season, helping lead the Packers to the state championship game.

Jones acknowledged that Dawson has head coaching aspirations and understands that outstanding coaches and administrators who are upwardly mobile are in demand.

“We just want him to stay as long as he wants to,” Jones said.

Dawson and wife Ishia have two children, Kaleb, and Kelsey. He also has a son Ryan, 19.

Valdosta’s Mike O’Brien won the first Region 1-AAAAA award 2003.

Since then, Coffee’s Bud Drew has won the award three times and Lowndes’ Randy McPherson has won it twice.

Tift County’s Mike Collier was the 2010 winner.

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