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The Price is Right

Paul Price Takes Over as the Head Coach of Mt. Lion Football

By Tyler Jackson
On January 26, 2016

Last Wednesday, athletic director Kevin Garrett introduced Paul Price, the former defensive coordinator, as the new head coach of the Concord University football team after former head coach Garin Justice accepted an offensive line coaching position at Florida Atlantic University.  

Price, who has been the defensive coordinator for the maroon and gray since 2009, has been an important part of the program's turnaround since going winless in 2008. Price will be coaching a team that is one year removed from a division two national semifinal championship game, but failed to meet expectations this past season and stumbled to a 5-5 record. Despite the down year and change in head coaches, Price believes the situation can be a quick turnaround, saying, “this is a football program that can be improved even at the stage we are in now, but it is a viable and working situation and we feel we can get back to the top of the league as soon as next year.” 

Unlike his predecessor Justice, who was the head coach and offensive line coach for majority of his tenure, Price will not be a position coach, succeeding his duties to former defensive line coach Pat Dawson. Price feels confident in the defense he has established and plans to focus more on the offense. “I am not going to let any far from under my thumb so I will be working with (Dawson) hand-in-hand, but I'll be spending a lot of the time, especially in the spring, with my offensive staff…I've been with the defense and we basically wrote the playbook together so on offense I think we’ll have to spend more time there than on defense.” Price said.  

When Price heard that Justice was leaving, he asked AD Kevin Garrett about the job around 40 minutes after he initially heard of the situation, but this is not Price’s first go around as a head coach, as he was the lead man at West Virginia Tech from 1996-98, but could only manage one win as he elaborated on the situation being hectic with ADs moving in and out of the university, being a one man orchestra, and the program just not being a true football program 

From a schematic standpoint, Price stated that he wants to do similar things to what Justice did, but he wants to do them better and relishes the opportunity to coach a program that has had a lot of success over the past six years. “I've been preparing myself to have this opportunity and I was excited about the possibility, but I know how many good coaches there are out there and I think Coach Garrett did it the right way and sitting down with Dr. Boggess, we really do see eye to eye. I've really become a Concord man when it comes to developing a philosophy and what I believe in is an awful lot of what this university is about,” Price said. 

Despite Price’s success as the defensive coordinator, he has some pretty big shoes to fill in the head coach capacity and despite being 20 years removed from his last head coaching position, questions will still linger about whether or not he can return the program to the same point it was a year ago, but one thing is for sure; it helps to have seen both the top and the bottom to help you learn from previous mistakes and apply them to future endeavors.

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