Copeland glad to be back at Twiggs County after four years at Baldwin

JEFFERSONVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Dexter Copeland is starting over.

"I’m glad to be back home," he says while standing on the football field at Twiggs County High School.

It’s been four years since Copeland coached here.  Since he left for Baldwin, the Cobras haven’t had a winning season.  In fact, they’ve won just seven games since Copeland’s departure.

"Right now, we’ve got to break the culture around here," Copeland says.  "The culture for the past four years at Twiggs has not been a winning culture."

Back when Copeland took the job at Baldwin, he’d just led Twiggs County to 73 wins in nine seasons.  Moving up to a bigger school gave him even more weapons.

"You have 80 players at Baldwin, you have 40 players at Twiggs," Copeland says. "But only 11 are going to play."

Copeland started his time at Baldwin with a bang, winning ten games his first year.  His second year, the Braves won eight games. Third year, six games. And then in his fourth and final year there, the Braves won just three games.

"You always hear that slogan that the grass is not always greener on the other side," Copeland says, laughing.  "You have to go to the other side to find out.  I found out."

Baldwin parted ways with Copeland after the 2013 season, so he was back on the market and needing a job but not as marketable as he’d been back in 2010.

"I noticed Twiggs had a coaching change, and I made a phone call to kind of see," Copeland says.  "I had to apply again like I did ten years ago.  We interviewed, and I was hoping a chance would come for me to get the job again. Interviewed for it, interview went real well, and I landed back here at Twiggs."

Rebuilding a program from scratch is never easy.

"These kids, they don’t know what happened ten years ago here at Twiggs," Copeland says.  "All they know is losing eight football games last year, and losing nine or ten the year before."

Copeland says his time at Baldwin was necessary in order to help the Cobras get back to the top.

"There are a lot of things I learned in Baldwin that I can bring back to Twiggs that are going to help me as a football coach."

Making it even tougher this season, Mount De Sales, Stratford and Tattnall Square are joining Twiggs County’s region.  Copeland says he doesn’t have much experience coaching against private schools, so he’s been studying up on them.

The Cobras are set to get a new weight room next month.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He hails from "The Great State of Alabama," as he calls it, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn, before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!