IOLA -- Iola High School is looking for a new head football coach, Rick Prater resigned his post on Wednesday, leaving the Bulldogs after just one season to be an assistant coach for Glen Hill at Caney Creek High School.
Prater said this afternoon that it was a "family decision". "I live on the Conroe side of Huntsville, I miss my family a lot and this is a chance for me to coach closer to home and to coach with Glen Hill at Caney Creek was something I couldn't pass up. I love the heck out of these kids in Iola, but I had to do what was best for my family."
Iola ISD Superintendent Doug Devine said, "We hate that Coach Prater is leaving. He did everything we ask him to do."
Prater's inaugural season in Iola was a tough one for everyone connected to the program as the Bulldogs posted an 0 & 10 season. It marked the first time in the 97 year history of Iola football that the Bulldogs did not win a game.
Prater came to Iola from Groveton where he was the offensive coordinator for the Indians and had some big shoes to fill upon arriving. He was following in the footsteps of Randy McDougald. McDougald not only coached the Bulldogs from 1990 to 2006, but grew up in Iola and played high school football there.
Prior to McDougald's arrival the Bulldogs only averaged 2 wins per season, but during his tenure Iola averaged over 8 wins per year capped off by the teams most successful playoff run ever.
In McDougald's final season Iola won a Regional Championship losing to Alto in the Class A Division 1 semifinals 39-25.
Devine says the position has been posted internally and a search for Prater's replacement is underway.