Four Questions with retired coach Dan Pitts

This week, our Four Questions feature is being answered by some of Georgia’s best-known retired coaches. We continue today with Dan Pitts, who coached for 39 seasons at Mary Persons and retired in 1998 as the winningest coach in Georgia history with a record of 346-109-4 (Larry Campbell of Lincoln County later broke the mark). Pitts’ Mary Persons teams won 15 region titles and one state championship (1980). Pitts is a member of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

ExploreApril 2021: Legendary Mary Persons coach Dan Pitts dies at age 88

Dan Pitts

1. What is the most memorable game you've been a part of as a player or coach? "To me it was the 1960 Fort Valley game when we won 19-14. We had been going really poorly [2-8 in 1959, Pitts' first season, and then 2-3 entering that game]. That's the biggest game in my career really because I was about to get fired. Fort Valley was the best team in our region, and then that was the first winning season we had." [Pitts was only 12-28 in his first four years but finished with 32 consecutive winning seasons.]

2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why? "Ray Lamb probably. He was a very good coach, and he treated people the way I thought you should be treated." [Pitts and Lamb never faced each other as opposing head coaches, though they were contemporaries. But they became close friends who speak to each other almost weekly.]

3. What is your pet peeve as a coach or favorite saying/motto? "What was always the most important thing to me was attendance, everybody being here every day. We tried to do that at Mary Persons. I coached for 39 years and never missed a practice, and few players did either."

4. Which GHSA policy or high school football rule would you most like to see changed? "Football has changed slightly every year, so it could be a lot of different things. I think there's too much moving around by players. That's one problem. People are recruiting now. They didn't used to do that. We very seldom had anyone move in. We had some, but not like now, and it was because parents got a different job, not because they wanted to go to a different school."

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