PORTAGEVILLE - Lee Wallace will be the next head football coach at Portageville for the 2007 season after the resignation of former head coach Ashley Swims.
Wallace has been a physical education and weight training teacher at Portageville for 16 years.
The last 13 years, Wallace has been the head baseball coach at Portageville.
On the football side, Wallace was an assistant coach under Jim McKay, Mike Ivie and Kevin Freeman for 10 seasons.
For three years, Wallace was an assistant coach in the Portageville junior high program and was the head coach this past season.
A traditionally competitive program, Portageville has hit some lean years this decade going 29-39.
The Bulldogs were winless in 2000 and this past year.
The last winning season for Portageville was in 2003.
The Bulldogs last made the playoffs in 2002 when Portageville lost to Lutheran North, 13-7, in a Class 2A quarterfinal game.
Wallace, a Portageville native, is ready to get rolling in his position.
"It is going to be a challenge," said Wallace. "My main priority is to keep our kids on the right path. We have a solid group of kids in the junior high program and I want to keep them excited about the game. Football turned my life around and I know it can do the same for our current boys."
Under Swims, Portageville went 8-21 in his three seasons as head coach. Wallace coached both Swims and current assistant coach Eric Ellerbrook in high school and feels bad about the situation they were dealt.
"Coach Red (Swims) and Eric had a very tough year," said Wallace. "I feel really bad on the kind of season they had. Those are two great guys that just had a tough year combined with some bad luck."
Wallace believes for the football team to be truly successful, the community of Portageville has got to be involved.
"This would be a great time for the community to roll up their sleeves and really get involved with the football program," said Wallace. "I want this thing to get heading in the right direction and we need the support of the town. My only thought heading into this new position is to leave the program better than I found it."