Tift County hires football coach with 3 Michigan state titles

Noel Dean was approved and announced as Tift County's football coach Tuesday night.
Noel Dean was approved and announced as Tift County's football coach Tuesday night.

Tift County hired Noel Dean, a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, as its football coach Tuesday night at a called school board meeting in Tifton.

Dean won Michigan state titles in 2002, 2004 and 2009 at Lowell High outside of Grand Rapids in the western part of the state. His Lowell teams were state runners-up three times.

Dean first became a head coach at age 22 in 1991 at Bendle High. His record with the two Michigan schools was 241-68 with 25 straight winning seasons. He retired after the 2017 season to enter a family business.

“Coach Dean understands hard work, success, and what it means to be a Blue Devil,” Tift County principal Chad Stone said in a release announcing the hire. “I am eager to see him work with our student athletes and develop a football program that makes us better today than yesterday.”

Tift County was 2-7 last season under Ashley Anders, who stepped down after six seasons. Tift was 11-2 as recently as 2017. The Blue Devils play in Region 1-7A, which includes football powers Colquitt County, Lowndes and Camden County. Those are the only South Georgia schools in the highest classification.

Tift County’s hire continues a trend of Georgia attracting out-of-state football coaches with multiple state titles. Lowndes last season hired Jamey DuBose, who won three titles in Alabama. Denmark in Forsyth County hired Mike Palmieri, who had won three in North Carolina. Georgia is known as one of the country’s highest-paying states for football coaches.

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