Updated: St. Pius coach Standard discusses move to Gilmer

October 12, 2018 - Atlanta: St. Pius coach is Paul Standard reacts to a play in the first half against North Oconee Friday, October 12, 2018, in Atlanta. St. Pius won 31-21. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)
October 12, 2018 - Atlanta: St. Pius coach is Paul Standard reacts to a play in the first half against North Oconee Friday, October 12, 2018, in Atlanta. St. Pius won 31-21. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)

Credit: Jason Getz

Credit: Jason Getz

St. Pius coach Paul Standard is leaving for Gilmer, ending a 20-year stint at the alma mater that he returned to football prominence and led to eight region titles.

Gilmer, a Class 3A school about 60 miles north of Atlanta, finished 3-6 in 2020. It has won only seven games over the past five seasons and two playoff games in the past 50 years.

’'That area of the state has always intrigued me as a great place to teach and coach,’' Standard told AJC.com Thursday afternoon. “The Gilmer position came open before Christmas and I was asked if I might have any interest and I certainly did. After meeting with their administration and others, I knew this would be a great fit for us.  Everyone I have been in contact with has been great and welcoming.’'

Standard, 58, said he wanted to return to the public schools, where he worked 16 years, to add to his retirement down the road.

Standard took the St. Pius job in 2001, when the Lions were coming off a 1-9 finish and hadn’t won a playoff game since its 1968 state championship. Standard’s teams reached championship games in 2012 and 2014 and made the semifinals two other years.

St. Pius also became competitive again against arch-rival Marist in the game called the Fish Bowl between DeKalb County Catholic schools. St. Pius in 2003 beat Marist for the first time since 1981 and won five of the last 10 games in the series.

Standard’s record at St. Pius was 174-72. That’s 16 more wins than his own high school coach, the legendary St. Pius coach George Maloof, under whom Standard played in the late 1970s.

’'I am in this profession because of George B. Maloof,’' Standard said. “When I broke into coaching one of my goals was to one day come back as the head coach at St. Pius X. Steve Spellman, our principal, took a chance on an inexperienced assistant coach and hired me. Honestly I don’t think no one else wanted the job.  For the past 20 years, St. Pius X has been mine and my family’s home, and it has been a dream come true to be able to come back to my alma mater and work with our students and faculty.’'

About the Author

In Other News