PELL CITY -- Coach Terry Isbell is headed back home a second time.
Recently, the Pell City Board of Education approved Isbell returning as a teacher/coach at Pell City High School. He will start his duties Jan. 3. Isbell will be the head coach of the Lady Panthers varsity softball team
For the past 6 1/2 years, Isbell has been a teacher/coach at Moody High. His last day at Moody will be Dec. 30. The St. Clair County BOE approved his resignation at a called meeting Nov. 30.
Isbell said Pell City Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Barber and PCHS Principal Dr. Tony Dowdy have given him the opportunity to coach and teach with his son, Andy.
“Family is real important to me,” Isbell said. “Andy will be on my staff helping me coach softball. I am very proud to be able to (go) back to Pell City to coach softball. The majority of my career has been at Pell City. It is a place that has been very good to me and my family. They gave me a chance when I was a young teacher/coach.”
Isbell graduated from Moody High School in 1982. He has coached for 32 years, with 23 of them at Pell City. He was at PCHS from 1989-2012.
He went to Moody because his son was a student there and he had the opportunity to coach him in football.
“I was so blessed at Moody High School,” he said. “I thank Superintendent Jenny Seals, former head football coach Jay Brown and former MHS Principal Cheryl Kuyk for giving me (the chance) to return to my high school that I love. The people at Moody know that I love them, but I love my son, too.”
Isbell said all of his children live in the Pell City area.
“My grandson will go to Pell City Schools,” Isbell said. “My daughter, Lacy Isbell Meals, is the director of the Boys & Girls Club in Pell City. My daughter, Reagan, played softball for me at Pell City.
“The only reason I gave up coaching softball in Pell City back in 2012 was to be able to coach my son playing football at Moody. It was also a great opportunity to work with Coach Jay Brown. Coming back to Pell City is really like a second homecoming.”
Dowdy said school officials were excited about having Isbell back at Pell City.
“We know his character, his integrity and his ability,” Dowdy said, “especially his ability to work with young ladies in women’s athletics. He has been a part of us before in the women’s athletic world, and we know how important this is and we know he takes it very serious.”
Isbell will be inducted into the St. Clair County Sports Hall of Fame at a banquet Jan. 12. The banquet will be in the St. Clair County High cafeteria.
Reach Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.