EAST PRAIRIE -- When Jason Aycock left East Prairie to take the principal position at Portageville he might have suspected that someday he'd return to his hometown.
Merely two years later, that day has come.
Aycock resigned his post at Portageville and is returning to coach the football team for the second time.
The 1995 East Prairie graduate coached as an assistant with the football program for six years before taking over as head coach in 2004.
He led the team to a 3-7 mark and had laid the foundation for the future, but a career opportunity in administration lured him to Portageville.
Although he continued to live in East Prairie while making the commute to Portageville, his heart never left his hometown.
"Portageville was very good to me," said Aycock. "I have nothing negative to say about Portageville or my administrative experience. But when I got out of coaching and got into administration it took a big chunk of my heart. Coaching is where my heart is and East Prairie is where my heart is. Your hometown seems to always draw you back to it."
Aycock returns to take over a program that appears to be in good shape after two years under Cory Adkisson, who is headed to be an assistant coach at Hayti.
Adkisson led the team to a 5-4 mark in 2005, the team's first winning season since Aycock's senior season in 1994.
The team finished 3-6 this past season, exceeding some expectations perhaps, after losing all-state running back Paris Tipler in Week 1.
"When I left I left a good group of kids," said Aycock. "I knew they would be very successful and they were -- they competed for a district title the year after I left. I'm very familiar with the kids that are still there, especially the juniors and seniors. I'm just excited to get back and coach East Prairie kids. We've all got something in common. I'm excited to be back and I hope East Prairie is excited to have me back."
Aycock said that assistant coaches Gary Scott and Chad Jamerson will remain on the staff.
"Gary is a huge help to me -- I'm going to let him continue to be the offensive coordinator of the ballclub," said Aycock. "I had just hired Chad on staff when I had left and he's done a terrific job. He's got a lot of energy. I like what he's done the past two years so we've decided to keep him on staff."
James Hodges will remain in charge of the junior high program.
Aycock said his philosophies haven't changed in his two-year absence.
"I'm sure all the coaches around the area know that I'm a Wing-T guy -- we definitely want to run the football," said Aycock. "Defensively I want an attacking style defense. I'm very aggressive. If I coach aggressive my kids will play aggressive. We've got to get better at tackling and better defensively all the way around."
In addition to being head football coach, Aycock will assist Scott with the baseball team. Aycock will also serve as director of the alternative school and will be an administrative assistant at East Prairie.
Aycock remains under contract with Portageville until June 25. He said he will be pulling double-duty with Portageville and East Prairie until that time.
"They understood my move," said Aycock of Portageville. "I explained to them that I'm missing a lot of time with my family and that I'm ready to get back home to them."