Paul Rains, who has almost 200 career victories, including a state championship, will try to bring his winning touch to Paul Laurence Dunbar's struggling football program.
Rains was introduced as the Bulldogs' new coach on Tuesday. He will be Dunbar's eighth coach since 2000. He replaces Derrick Thomas, who was fired after two years and a 4-18 record.
This will be Rains' seventh coaching stop in his 24-year career, and third in three years. He was at Letcher County Central last fall, and at Mercer County for the 2011 season.
Before that Rains spent seven years building Lexington Christian Academy into a state power, culminating in a Class A title in 2009.
"Coaches are somewhat nomadic," Rains said of his recent job changes. "It's not something you plan. It's part of the profession.
"After I left LCA (following the 2009-10 school year), I've been trying to find the right public school situation. Things either didn't work out, or a great opportunity somewhere else came along. Dunbar is a great opportunity and a great career decision."
Rains, 50, faces a daunting task at Dunbar, which has a 12-64 record over the last seven years.
"That didn't give me pause or any apprehension about taking this job," he said. "I've always enjoyed the challenge of resurrecting a program or building a program. I've done it at several schools before. I know how rewarding it is for everybody when it gets turned around."
Dunbar Principal Betsy Rains (no relation) said Rains was "at the top of our list to interview. We went after him because he's a program builder. He's proven himself."
Paul Rains said the keys to re-establishing Dunbar as a football power, a position it held in the mid-to-late 1990s, are increasing the number of players, stressing fundamentals and getting stronger in the weight room.
Rains said moving back to Lexington will also mean he's closer to his children, two of whom attend the University of Kentucky, and another at the University of Louisville.
"It's a family decision, too," he said.
Rains, who also coached at Madison Central, Montgomery County and Hazard, has a career record of 195-96.
Mike Meighan (1990-2000)
Mark Peach (2001-02)
Fred Barnott (2003-04)
David Hensley (2005-07)
Jason Howell (2008-09)
Bob Lawson (2010)
Derrick Thomas (2011-12)
Paul Rains (2013-)
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com