Tiftarea Academy is adding a popular name amongst South Georgians to its varsity football coaching staff: Coach Erik Soliday will trade in his Americus-Sumter High Panther gear for some Tiftarea Panther wear this fall. Headmaster Stacey Bell and Athletic Director Tim Hathcock made the announcement with Soliday at the school Monday afternoon. Originally from West Virginia, Soliday has been a South Georgia football household name since 1989 when he joined the Turner County Rebels as an assistant. He has spent the majority of his 29-year career in Ashburn, Americus and Perry. He led Americus High to back-to-back state championships in the early 2000s, and he has been named Coach of the Year countless times during his career. Hathcock and Bell echoed each other in their enthusiasm for the new coach. “Coach Soliday is an exciting addition to our staff. We feel he has all the tools necessary to lead our program to new heights,” said Hathcock. Bell added that Soliday’s principles of discipline on and off the field will translate to success at Tiftarea. A motto Soliday likes to live by is an old quote from former Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz: “Why settle for second place when first place is available.” Tiftarea Academy had a 6-5 season last year under former Coach Tully Payne.
Source: Tifton Grapevine