Scott County’s new high school hasn’t opened yet, but it’s already on its second football head coach.
Paul Rains, who last was a head coach at Paul Laurence Dunbar in 2015, has been named head coach at Great Crossing High School, set to open this fall in Georgetown.
Jason Chappell, coming off a five-year run at Whitley County, was named Great Crossing’s head coach in early February but resigned this week due to personal matters. Chappell had been an assistant under Rains in the past and brought his mentor onto his staff as an assistant coach.
“We established relationships with the parents and players, and I wanted to see through the vision that he and I had put out there,” Rains said. “So I accepted the job.”
Rains resigned from the Dunbar job in January 2016 but in two of the last three seasons worked as an assistant under Jim McKee at Scott County. He’s retiring from teaching at the end of this school year.
“Coach Rains is vested in our community and is a proven winner, he fits the mold of the championship-caliber coaches that we have throughout Scott County Schools,” Scott County District Athletic Director D.T. Wells wrote in a news release.
A few years out of the boss chair have livened up Rains, who in 27 previous years as a head coach won nearly 70 percent of his games, going 209-98.
“I’ve gotten to relax a little bit over the last couple years and that’s re-energized me, to be able to take some time away from the game,” Rains said. “I’ve still done some clinics and spent some time talking to coaches, and of course watching high school ball.”
Rains led Lexington Christian to its only football state title in 2009. The Eagles went 14-1 that season (the loss a 27-26 decision versus Lexington Catholic), culminating in a 55-19 rout of Mayfield in the finals. LCA had won only four games in its first three seasons as a program before he arrived in 2003.
He coached at Hazard, Montgomery County and Madison Central before going to LCA. He took over at Mercer County and Letcher County Central before ending up at Dunbar in 2013.
Rains is excited about the offense he’ll look to employ at Great Crossing. He’s enjoyed seeing how run-pass option schemes have evolved over the last three or four years at the high school level and plans to embrace that kind of style.
“We’ll be doing some RPO stuff. We’re gonna be throwing the ball around,” Rains said. “We’re excited to offer that kind of offensive package here and I think the kids will have some fun with it.”
He’ll have a young team out of the gate but knows, at a minimum, it will be fundamentally sound. As for his future beyond the fall, Rains doesn’t know exactly what the future holds but doesn’t foresee himself being a “one-and-done” leader.
“I live here, I love the community,” Rains said. “I’ve got as good a staff as I’ve had working with me. It’s all about relationships at this stage in my career, and we’ve got some great kids and great coaches. I can see myself here for several years, but we’ll have to wait and see on it.”
Great Crossing’s first game is against Scott County on Aug. 23. Both teams beginning in 2019 will play in Class 5A.