Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Dee Faircloth, right, will be the defensive coordinator of the Vidalia Vikings, under head coach Jeff Hancock, left.
Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Dee Faircloth, right, will be the defensive coordinator of the Vidalia Vikings, under head coach Jeff Hancock, left.

Dee Faircloth accepts Vidalia defensive coordinator position

Published 12:03am Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vidalia — Dee Faircloth will don his royal blue Vidalia Viking hat on Vidalia High School’s sidelines once again, except this time he’ll do so under a new role as defensive coordinator.

“I always said I was going to die with my boots on,” Faircloth said.

When new Vidalia head coach Jeff Hancock presented the opportunity for Faircloth to join his staff, Faircloth relished the thought of working with kids and studying tape again without the demands of being head coach.

“This is Jeff’s ball club,” Faircloth said. “I won’t have to make those day-to-day decisions, from how much toilet paper to what we’re going to run on Friday night. Just going back to breaking down film and x’s and o’s.”

Hancock always planned to have Faircloth on his staff. In fact, Hancock brought up the possibility before he was even hired. He thought he received a polite “maybe” from Faircloth, and once Hancock made his way to Vidalia, he followed up with Faircloth, preparing to beg for his assistance.

“I said. ‘No. 1 on my wish list is for you to be my defensive coordinator,’” Hancock said. “He said, ‘well, I think I might like that.’”

Hancock, who has coached 20 years of college football (mostly as an offensive coordinator), knew Faircloth would make a perfect marriage for his football team, given his defensive expertise.

Meanwhile, Faircloth viewed it as a perfect opportunity to become involved with a program he coached for 41 years, amassing a 249-187-6 overall record.

“I get to do what I always liked to do — work with defense,” Faircloth said. “My dad was an offensive coach. He averaged about 40 points a game, but his defense gave up about 38 points. I went just the opposite.”

Faircloth’s Vikings possessed a defensive identity. In 1971, Vidalia’s opponents totaled negative-171 yards over the first five games. In 1973, Faircloth’s defense rendered opponents scoreless for 37 straight quarters. His 2002 and 2003 squads posted back-to-bck 10-0 regular season records before he retired in 2009.

Those types of statistics are exactly why Hancock sought Faircloth’s contribution.

“Coach Faircloth is a legend,” Hancock said. “I figure anytime you have a guy in the community that’s in the hall of fame and the field and street is named after him, it’s a good idea to ask him for help. I was ecstatic when he said yes.”