An Eagle has landed; Fountain welcomed to WSN
Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Coming home again is now a part of the vocabulary for East Brewton native Hugh Fountain III.
During a reception held in his honor Thursday at W.S. Neal High School, Fountain reminisced about his days in school and as a football coach for the Eagles early in his career.
“I’m thankful to be here,” Fountain told the nearly-packed room of well-wishers. “I came here to coach when I was 23 years old to coach. I was blessed to have the opportunity as a young coach. It is a blessing to have the opportunity at the end of my career to coach here again.”
Fountain, a 1982 graduate of W.S. Neal, coached for five years beginning in 1995. His career has taken him to different schools as a coach, but he knows Neal is where he’s supposed to be at this point of his career.
“I’ve been a few different places,” Fountain said. “I ended up here and because of the timeing of things, I know this is where I’m supposed to be.”
Fountain was considered for a coaching position five years ago at the school, but, he said, “the timing just wasn’t right.”
“This time it worked out,” Fountain said. “And I’m pretty excited about it. It’s just a thrill to come back to Neal.”
WSN Principal Todd Williamson was a classmate with Fountain at the school, and said he is excited to team up with the new coach for the school.
“We started school together at Mrs. Parker’s kindergarten,” Williamson said. “And, we finished school together here. This is Hugh’s home. He has family here and a long tradition of football at the school.”
Williamson said Fountain will bring some much-needed enthusiasm to the community.
“The kids are excited and the community is excited to have him here,” Williamson said. “I am happy to have him here because we have the same goals — we both want W.S. Neal back to the way it should be. I believe good things are in store for this school and this community having Hugh back with us.”
Fountain said being at WSN is a blessing for him as he takes the lead for the team.
“When you go to work and to school and you know you’ve got people that care about you, it leads to success,” Fountain said. “W.S. Neal deserves to be better.”
Fountain said he remembers the days when he was a student and a coach at WSN, how said the current students are blessed, but may not know just how much.
“I remember the old field house back in the 1970s,” Fountain said. “I remember my uncle Jim carrying me to that field house and what it was like. That’s what got me wanting to be a coach. What we had then was fine, but to come back to a totally new place on the same campus is something special. Everything at Neal now is a blessing. They don’t know what we had then, but to see all this now – it’s a beautiful place.”
Fountain said a couple of weeks practicing with his new team is going well — and they are learning more than football plays.
“I believe with all my heart, that if the boys work like they have the last two weeks, we will get better and better,” Fountain said. “We were in the field house and I heard some profanity. I told the boys then that we just weren’t going to hear that here. You can’t get all dressed up in a suit and tie and expect a boss to keep you around if you talk that way. Everything we teach them is trying to produce good people and to put forth effort to be a good person. Let’s hold everybody accountable for doing the right stuff so that we can be successful.”
Fountain most recently lead the Escambia Academy Courgars for a decade racking up 94 wins and bringing home a pair of AISA state titles. The Cougars played for the Class AA state championship each of the last six years under Fountain.