Making a positive impact

Published 12:02 am Friday, June 27, 2014

0627 spt-Bert Rice

New Andalusia assisstant coach Bert Rice instructs players on a coverage drill during a recent football traiing session. Rice comes to AHS from Walker High School. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Playing at Ft. Dale in high school, Bert Rice played against a Pike Liberal Arts team whose head coach — Brian Seymore — would end up being his coaching boss one day.

That day is today.

Rice’s hire as a social science teacher, and assistant football and soccer coach at Andalusia High School was approved by the Andalusia City Schools Board of Education at a recent meeting.

During the preseason game in his playing days, Rice said Ft. Dale and Pike Lib only got to play one half with the score tied at 6-6.

Unfortunately, the game got rained out.

“I can’t talk junk or nothing,” Rice quipped.

All joking aside, Rice said he loves being in Andalusia, and that the AHS head football coach and being able to work in close proximity to his home town in Ft. Deposit, were a big pull to come work here.

“I’ve known coach Seymore for quite some time,” he said. “He obviously seems like somebody I wanted to work with. It seemed like a place I’d like to be.”

Prior to being hired here, Rice coached at Walker High School in Jasper, and had coaching stints at Ft. Dale for three years and at Pike Lib for two. He coached the same sports at WHS and Ft. Dale as he does now, along with the same teaching subject.

Coaching has always been something he’s wanted to do in life.

“I went straight into college (at Troy University) in social science education,” Rice said. “The idea of being able to have an impact on others meant a lot.”

Rice grew up playing football and baseball, but never played soccer, he said.

“Fortunately, we won,” Rice said of his first soccer game that he coached.

When asked what his coaching philosophy is, Rice said it’s all about having a positive impact with athletes so that they can carry it with them toward the future.

“I believe that kids need a lot today,” he said. “My goal is that every day they spend with me, I hope that that day they learn something that’s going to make their life beneficial down the road — make them into a more proud member of society. I want them to be a well-rounded athlete at school.”

For the Bulldogs’ football team, Rice will be coaching defensive backs.

Rice is the son of Jay and Marsha Rice.