LA hires Doolittle to lead football program
Jolly Doolittle found himself standing in front of a throng of current and future Laurens Academy varsity football players Monday afternoon after being introduced as LA’s next head football coach.
Doolittle, who has been head coach at Greenwood Christian School for the past seven seasons, told the players he would be looking for great attitude and great effort as he embarks on building LA’s SCISA 8-man football program.
“We have a detailed plan about how we think we (can) win,” said Doolittle. “That’s the goal. Winning.”
Getting there will include a year-round weight program for all LA athletes, which Doolittle will be counted on to help implement.
Doolittle takes over the LA football program coached by Travis Plowden this past season. Plowden, who is also LA’s varsity basketball coach and athletic director, was named interim coach following the abrupt resignation of Stacy Bell. Bell had been hired last spring but resigned without explanation in April of last year before ever coaching a game at LA.
“I’m going to be where God wants me to be, and I felt strongly that He wanted me in this direction,” said Doolittle, who will enter his 23rd season in coaching this fall. “My best success is in building relationships and building programs in rural, blue-collar atmophers. Laurens definitely offers that.”
Doolittle is a Wardlaw Academy graduate and has coached at his alma mater and W.W. King Academy in addition to Greenwood Christian.
He also played football at North Greenville with Clinton head coach Corey Fountain and attended North Greenville with Plowden.
“We’re turning over the keys to Coach Doolittle, and he’s going to do a great job with it,” said Plowden, who will take over the middle school football program for LA headmaster and former varsity coach Todd Kirk, who is stepping away from coaching altogether.
Doolittle was 27-42 in his seven seasons at Greenwood Christian. His best season was 2017 when the Hawks went 7-3 in SCISA’s 11-man league. LA is two seasons removed from a trip to the SCISA 8-man state semifinals. Doolittle has coached the 8-man game before, but only as an assistant.
Plowden also said there is a trust level with Doolittle that has been built since their time together at North Greenville.
“We trust each other, and that’s a very important thing to have these days,” Plowden said. “When you have that situation, it’s hard to put a price tag on that. . . . Our relationship definitely played a role in making this happen.”