Dryden named new NMCC head football coach

Saturday, January 11, 2014
John Dryden

sports@standard-democrat.com

NEW MADRID -- The New Madrid County Central Eagles have hired their fourth-ever head football coach in it's history.

With 17 years of experience, John Dryden will become NMCC's second head coach in the last 10 years.

"We liked his experience," New Madrid athletic director Rand Amick said. "He's coached in a couple different states and was able to build a couple programs where he was. He had a very good interview and he expects to win."

Dryden, most recently, was the offensive coordinator for Summit High School in Spring Hill, Tenn. Before his move to Summit, Dryden served as Christian Academy of Louisville's head coach where he was also the defensive coordinator and head strength coach.

Dryden takes over for longtime New Madrid County Central coach Arlen Pixley, who was let go following the 2013 season.

Pixley, who has been the Eagles head football coach since 2004 and an assistant before that, led the Eagles to a 3-7 finish in 2013. In the three seasons prior, NMCC compiled a record of 7-23.

"I think overall, our school board and community was ready for a change," Amick said about parting ways with Pixley. "I personally like Arlen and he's a heck of a good football coach. But, when there's not much success there's time for a change."

Dryden, a journeyman coach, began his career at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., where he served as Blackburn's running backs coach in 1994. After two years at Blackburn, he returned to Pleasant Hill High School as an assistant. In 1998, Dryden moved cross-country to Springerville-Eager, Ariz., taking the head football coaching position at Round Valley High School.

In 2002, he moved to McMinnville, Tenn., to become the defensive coordinator and strength coach at Warren County High School. After three years at Warren, Dryden made the move to Louisville.

Amick said the Dryden's preferred offensive scheme would be a spread offense but it's not set in stone just yet.

"Most coaches today like the spread and he does too," Amick said about Dryden, who was looking to get closer to his hometown. "If he didn't have the horses to do that here he would adjust. He's not stuck on one particular offense. He will adjust to what he feels is the right way to go for our players."

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