Former LaGrange coach reaches a milestone
NEWNAN – It’s 200 and counting.
East Coweta’s Steve Pardue reached a milestone on Friday when he won his 200th game as a head coach.
There wasn’t much suspense, with East Coweta thumping Pebblebrook 37-0 to improve to 6-2.
The bulk of Pardue’s victories, 161 of them, came during what was a spectacularly successful stint as LaGrange’s head coach, and he has won 22 games at East Coweta, as well as 17 games as a high-school coach in Kentucky.
Pardue was also an assistant coach at the University of Kentucky for two years after leaving LaGrange High following the 2010 season.
Pardue, a Kentucky native, was at LaGrange for two decades, and he enjoyed tremendous success first as an assistant coach, and then as the head coach.
In 1991, Pardue was an assistant coach on the LaGrange team that went 15-0, won a state championship and was named the best team in the country by USA Today.
In 1994, Pardue took over as LaGrange’s head coach, and he maintained that position through the 2010 season, and the numbers were impressive.
Pardue had an overall record of 161-45 at LaGrange, and his teams won three state championships and eight region titles.
In his third season in 1996, Pardue’s Grangers went 11-1, and the team won nine games in each of the next two years.
Things really came together beginning in the 2000 season, though.
LaGrange went 11-1 that year and won a region title, and that kicked off a 10-year stretch that no other program in Class AAA could match during that time.
From 2000 to 2009, the Grangers went 114-17, they won state championships in 2001, 2003 and 2004, they reached the state semifinals in 2005 and 2008, and they advanced to the quarterfinals in 2002.
From 2001 to 2006, LaGrange had a playoff record of 20-2, and it had a 29-game winning streak that spanned the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Pardue returned to his home state in 2011 and joined Joker Phillips’ staff at Kentucky as a running-backs coach, and he remained in that position for two years.
Pardue took the 2013 season off, and he returned to the high-school game in 2014 at East Coweta.
After back-to-back 8-3 seasons in 2014 and 2015, East Coweta is 6-2 this season and is in second place in Region 2-AAAAAAA.
On Sept. 9, Pardue returned to Callaway Stadium as East Coweta beat LaGrange 42-0.
Before that game, the LaGrange teams of the 2000s were honored, and Pardue received a nice ovation when he was introduced.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports