Outside the Lines:Pearson lets Dawgs go after two decades

If you listened closely before a Montevallo High School boys&8217; basketball game, you might have heard &8220;BP turn those Dawgs loose.&8221;

Long time head coach Bobby Pearson did just that in an 8:30 a.m. meeting with his team last Thursday.

After 23 years and 318 wins, Pearson stepped down as the Bulldogs head coach.

The looks were of confusion among his players&8217; faces.

&8220;I could see them asking why,&8221; Pearson said of his decision last week to hang up the position of head coach and remain at MHS as a drivers&8217; education teacher and special teams coach with football.

&8220;It&8217;s been a great run,&8221; Pearson told me after talking to his team. &8220;It was never about the wins or losses. It was about being able to mold young men into productive citizens.&8221;

Having just walked out of the locker room as head coach for the final time, Pearson reminisced on some of his favorite moments, such as the year Slade Blackwell helped take his team to the University of Alabama for the Class 4A Tournament.

Blackwell hit at least six baskets from beyond 3-point range, launching them from snout of the Big Al logo on the court as Pearson remembers, however the 3-point rule was not into effect yet in high school ball.

The Dawgs lost by three in the quarterfinal game to Keith High School.

Pearson was emotional remembering a roaring crowd after his Dawgs rallied from a 10 point deficit against Eutaw years ago, in a deciding game for the playoffs.

His fond memories also include Mike Jones, who went on to play ball at Southern Miss and all-time leading scorer Tommy Bivens, among others.

Moving forward, Pearson says he will support the new coach &8220;because I&8217;m a Montevallo Bulldog&8221; and urged his players to not look back.

He also told them that he will always be available to talk about anything, except basketball, as long as they are a player at Montevallo High.

&8220;I&8217;ve never been a guy to question another coach, and I&8217;m not going to be now,&8221; Pearson said.

Principal Judy Simmons and Athletic Director Jim King say they are already looking for the best person to take over the program and hope to make a hire soon.