LEADING BY EXAMPLE: Bond takes reins of Pleasant Home football

Published 2:45 pm Monday, July 8, 2024

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Kevin Bond believes we all serve a purpose in life, so it’s only fitting his next journey will come as the head football coach at Pleasant Home School in 2024.

A 2002 Straughn High School alumnus, Bond will make his head coaching debut after serving as an assistant coach for seven years. He succeeds former coach Cody Sellers who left after two seasons.

“I have always wanted to become a head coach and told the Lord, ‘If you will let me, I would love to do it.’ The opportunity was presented to me at a time when I had been feeling a type of transition in education,” Bond said. “I knew the Lord was with me and gave me peace when I pursued the opportunity. After I met with Mr. Wood and the community, it was a will of God, and the atmosphere here fit what I would like to accomplish in the lives of these young men.”

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Troy University and a master’s degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Bond also has certifications in Instructional Leadership and Social Sciences.

When he is not at the football field, Bond serves as the campus pastor of Refuge Church in Opp. He has spent 23 years of his life in ministry.

“I am looking forward to investing in young men’s lives and instilling core values that I believe are important. I want them to have the ability to be successful and watch their success in the classroom, on the field, and in their personal lives. I want them to look back on this season and say it was something to be proud of. Part of my driving force is making a difference so much they look back in 20 years and say I was glad to have him as my coach,” he said.

Bond began playing football in the third grade at McKenzie. He was a quarterback at Red Level from fourth grade through his junior year and occasionally played defense as a linebacker. A family emergency led him to Straughn for his senior year, where he took on fullback and linebacker roles.

Now in his eighth year of coaching, Bond’s prior stops include Elba High School from 2015 through 2017 and Kinston High School from 2020 through 2023.

“Elba and Kinston were both wonderful experiences. I am grateful to each one and have been blessed with two great mentors to coach under,” he said.

Bond added that having good leadership and communication skills are important if one is to be successful.

“You want to have a good knowledge of the X’s and O’s. You need to have an offensive philosophy of how you want to run your team and a clear vision of your basic defensive packages. You will have to morph both according to the personnel you have. I’m not an expert in leadership and communication but feel like my strong suits are there when leading groups. Those are probably top priority and lead into building relationships with players and their families as well as coworkers and colleagues in the school and community settings.”

One of his biggest beliefs when serving as a head coach is leading by example.

“Everybody’s story is different. Coming in at the timeframe I did, winning trust and building relationships in an expedited manner is more important than the X’s and O’s. The time has come to write the next chapter for my family and me here at Pleasant Home,” Bond said.

As a people person, the support from those at school and in the community is significant to him.

“I’m grateful because they have made this transition better for my family and me. This is a community ready to invest in their football program from the principal down to parents. We have renovations going on in the field house. Parents are making sacrifices and balancing their expectations. Our process is to become better than we were. It doesn’t seem like we’re going from point A to point Z in one jump. I can’t say enough about the kindness and support of this community,” he said.

Bond’s overall philosophy on the sport is to finish, which coincides with a motto the team has utilized this summer. That motto reads, “Finish what you start.”

“We want to do the little things right and have a competitive mindset. If we can give it our all and compete for four quarters no matter what the scoreboard says, eventually good things will happen. I want these young men to fight and play hard. You may beat us, but we want to make that as difficult as possible for our opponents. We want our players to live a type of life that shows them Christ and do that together as a football family,” he said.

Assistant coaches Ronnie Sansom, Jeremy Silcox, and David Hamby will return this season.

“The current coaching staff will remain in place, but I hope to add one more coach before the season begins. Our goals are to be competitive every down we play and win more games,” Bond said.

Bond feels many people have helped him reach this point in his life. He referenced an old saying that reads, “If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he didn’t get there by himself” and referred to himself as the turtle.

“I want to thank the Lord for this opportunity and fully believe He has placed me here at Pleasant Home. I am thankful to my wife who has been amazing and her belief and support of me in my dream. I want to thank my three daughters for giving of their dad to pour into a new school and this group of guys and coaches. I’m thankful for my parents Jerry and Pam Bond who have supported me since I became a coach,” he said.

“My pastor Greg Adkins believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself and encouraged me to pursue this opportunity as a head coach. My friend and former colleague Bryan Peacock was the first person to tell me of this job opening. I’m thankful for the two head coaches I have been under: Ed Rigby and Rudy Free. Each one and their staff have poured into me to help get me to this point. Finally, but definitely not least, I’m thankful to principal Barry Wood for taking a chance on a first-time head coach. I will strive to help build a football program this community will be proud of,” Bond said.

He is the son of Jerry Bond and Pam Bond and the late Sandra Bond with four siblings, Jeremy Bond, Ashley Turner, Bridget Williams, and the late Megan Bond. He is married to his wife, Debbie Bond, and they are the parents of three daughters: Makayla, 13, Addison, 10, and Braelynn, 8.

“We’re very excited to have Coach Bond join our staff at Pleasant Home. He has literally hit the ground running side-by-side during summer workouts with his players. His enthusiasm and work ethic have been contagious in the weight room and in engaging with the staff and community of Pleasant Home. We’re looking forward to him bringing that same character and energy to the classroom as well,” PHS Principal Barry Wood said.