Dora's Wright picks up Coach of the Year honors
by W. Brian Hale
Dec 29, 2012 | 2226 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dora's Johnny Wright is the Daily Mountain Eagle's Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs to a 12-2 record and the Bulldogs' first trip to the state semifinals since 1986. Photo by Jeff Johnsey
Dora's Johnny Wright is the Daily Mountain Eagle's Coach of the Year after guiding the Bulldogs to a 12-2 record and the Bulldogs' first trip to the state semifinals since 1986. Photo by Jeff Johnsey
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DORA — In 2012, Dora Bulldogs’ coach Johnny Wright made his return to the program where he experienced a great amount of success during his six-year tenure in the 2000’s — where his teams made five-consecutive trips to the postseason and won three region titles.

In his first season back at Dora, Wright picked up where he left off, guiding the Bulldogs to a 12-2 record, a Region 4 championship and a trip to the fourth round of the Class 4A playoffs.

For his guidance in leading Dora to its successful year, Wright has been named the 2012 Daily Mountain Eagle Elite Coach of the Year.

Dora romped through its regular season determined to be one of the best teams in the state — outscoring opponents an average of 39-17, suffering its only loss to Class 5A top-ranked Muscle Shoals, while defeating playoff contenders Calera, Corner, Jemison and Handley. The Bulldogs also established a powerful rushing attack that averaged over 350 yards a game and a defense that specialized in forcing turnovers — with over 20 interceptions as a team — that would help carry the program deep into their postseason run.

“I’m very pleased at how everything went this year. When I took over in June, our coaching staff and myself set out to show our kids what we wanted to accomplish as a program and tried to get them to buy into what we were teaching them. What really helped us out is that these young men wanted to be successful,” Wright said.

“From day one, our players showed that they had a great work ethic — and that was so important for us to be as successful as we wanted to be. We have great athletes, I knew that before I returned, but they were going to have to work hard to unlock their true potential and these kids strived to improve each week.”

Wright also praised the work of his staff — a collection of veteran and young coaches who worked intensely to bring the best out of the players under their guidance.

Wright and his staff helped mentor five AHSAA all-state players: Caleb May, Joel Parrish, Deionte Smith, Cameron Ghotar and Kai Thomas.

“We’re very fortunate to have a great set of people on our coaching staff; they expect the kids to give them their best and in return, our coaches give them their best,” Wright said. “There are coaches like George Banks and Johnathan Morrison who were with me in my first tenure here that were joined by our newer coaches, such as Greg Gober and Stephen Moore, who made a big difference in getting the best out of our kids. We also have coach Chavis Williams, who joined us shortly after the season started and was extremely instrumental in reaching the players on a level that few people can. We have great chemistry together and have a great time together in coaching our young men.”