By DOUG EADS, CJ Correspondent
The 2013 high school football season was one for the ages for the Pulaski County Maroons.
Johnny Hines' club went 14-0, won a fourth district championship in the past five seasons, won the school's second ever regional title, and advanced all the way to the Class 5 A State Championship Game for the first time in school history, before falling to three-time defending champion Bowling Green.
Yes, 2013 was a year to remember for the Maroon faithful and coach Hines.
Hines' club completed a perfect, 10-0 regular season by defeating Southwestern in the final game of the regular season, which gave the PC head coach his 100th win as the Maroons leader.
His 104 wins makes him the winningest coach in PC history, and for those reasons and much more Johnny Hines is The Commonwealth Journal's 2013 Coach of the Year.
For Hines, he becomes the first recipient to win this award for a second time, as he was also the Coach of the Year in 2009 as well.
"It's an honor," stated Hines, in talking about winning the award for the second time during his coaching tenure at Pulaski County High School.
"When you think of all the different coaches at the other three schools in the county, and all the different sports that have so much success annually in our town, it's an honor to be chosen for this award," added the PC head coach. "I am certainly flattered to be thought of so highly,"
It's been well documented in the past just how far Hines has brought the Pulaski County football program in his 15 years on the job as the Maroons head coach.
When he took over for the departed John Cain at the beginning of the '99 season, Pulaski County had very few starters returning from a team that lost in the opening round of the playoffs the year before at Belfry.
In Hines first year at the helm of the Maroon program, Pulaski County didn't score a single point until the fifth game of the season.
In the early years, the goal was simply to try to win a few games.
Then, the goal gradually became trying to just make the playoffs.
Then, the focus was to win a playoff game.
And now, the goals are hardly the same.
These days the goals are much different and more lofty to say the least.
Under Hines leadership, the Maroons of today are not just happy to make the playoffs.
Instead, this is a program that is on such solid footing today that if a district title isn't won, it's considered to be an unsuccessful year.
That's how far Hines has brought this proud program in 15 short years, and it culminated with a very magical season in 2013 -- a year that saw Pulaski County make its first appearance ever in a state title game.
"It was a very good season this past year, and we're awfully proud of our players and the tremendous things they were able to do this year," stated Hines. "I'm extremely proud of our coaching staff – we've got a very good coaching staff. Those guys don't get enough credit for the things they do."
Getting credit for the job that has been done at Pulaski County is something that Hines will always deflect away from himself.
He's a player's coach, and a guy that is stand up 100 percent.
He will be the first person to take the blame for a tough loss, and he will heap praise on everyone but himself when Pulaski County picks up a win.
Lately, he's been heaping praise on quite a few folks, because the losses for the Maroons have been few and far between.
With only eight seniors gone from a 2013 team that finished as Class 5 A runner-up, and with a cupboard of young and talented players returning in '14, Hines and the Maroons are poised for another deep run at a state title next season and beyond.
And for that, Hines deserves a ton of credit for the job he has done with the Maroon football program.
Being named as The Commonwealth Journal's 2013 Coach of the Year, Hines has garnered just a little credit and notoriety that he so richly deserves.
Congratulations to the Pulaski County head football coach for a job well done.