It was a good run, but the Joel Poole era has ended at DAR High School.
The veteran coach has stepped down after 4 seasons at the helm of the football team. His wife Amy is a retired educator and Coach Poole said he too may be retired now.
Coach Poole said "it was just time" for him, although he did not rule out returning to football if the right opportunity were to come along.
He finishes with a 21-21 record with the Patriots. He went 5-5 his first year in 2017. Then 2018 was a watershed year for the Patriots, with DAR winning its first state playoff game ever, then hosting a playoff game for the first time in school history en route to an 8-4 record.
He had gone 4-6 the last 2 seasons.
"We averaged a little better than 5 wins a season," Coach Poole said, noting that's not bad for a school that has only been playing football since 2006.
His teams were scrappy and gritty, playing in a tough conference but always ready to give any opponent their best fight. It was a fun brand of football to watch as DAR both threw and ran the ball under Coach Poole.
Coach Poole played at Jacksonville State University under legendary coach Bill Burgess. The Gamecocks won a national championship shortly after his departure as a player.
His coaching stops included Pleasant Valley, Madison County and Albertville before he came to DAR. At Madison County, he had his best single season record ever, going 11-2.
He said he would love to see one of his former assistants get the opportunity to be the next head coach at DAR.
He also thanked the principals that he worked under at the school.
"I'd like to thank Stacy Anderton and Marsha Mitchell," he said. "They've been nothing but gracious to me."