By Nick Nunn
James Dustin Sidwell was born on Feb. 8, 1986 in Athens, Ga., but attended Morgan County High School where he competed on the football and wrestling teams. Coach Sidwell was named an All-State linebacker during his senior year at MCHS, and he won two state championships in wrestling for his junior and senior years.
After beginning college at Georgia Military College, Sidwell received his undergraduate degree in Special Education. Following his undergraduate work, Sidwell earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon College in Phoenix, Ariz.
Sidwell and his wife, Kaleigh Alcarez Sidwell, were married on Dec. 20, 2008, and their son, Jackson James Sidwell, will be two years old this November.
The 2013-2014 school year will be Sidwell’s third year at MCHS as a student support specialist.
This year, Sidwell is trading in his job as the JV football team’s head coach for the defensive coordinator position for the varsity squad, filling the spot that Coach Doug Huff left earlier this year. Sidwell also coaches the wrestling team alongside Coach John Robbins, and Sidwell will also begin this year as the coach for the high school’s track team.
How did you feel when Coach Malone offered you the position of defensive coordinator? Was there any nervousness or hesitancy on your part?
JDS: When Coach Malone offered me the position, feelings cannot be put into words. I had wanted to be a coach at Morgan County ever since I decided I wanted to be a teacher, which was while I was a student at Morgan County High School. To have this opportunity is overwhelmingly exciting. I had a love for this school when I played for Morgan County High School and I still have that same love and drive for Morgan County as a coach. I want nothing but the best for our Bulldogs and I will do whatever I can to help our team be the best.
What, if any, changes do you intend to implement in the defensive strategy of the team?
JDS: I think that what we have in place and what we have been doing over the past few years has been very successful. We will continue to run our scheme as we have in the past, with a few changes and modifications that we have developed over the summer. We, as a staff, felt that our kids like the system we had and feel very confident in what we did previously, so that allows them to play harder and faster, which is what any coach would want out of their players.
How do you feel that the year as JV head coach has prepared you for this position?
JDS: Being the JV Head Coach was very helpful. I was able to be placed in a leadership role where I was able to make decisions that had a great deal of impact on the game’s outcome, very much like a Defensive Coordinator will have during the game. During a football game, you have a short amount of time to get the plays in and come up with answers to what your opponent is doing. I feel that my time spent as the JV Head Coach will be very beneficial to me this season.
What are your main interests or hobbies other than sports?
JDS: Other than sports, I always enjoy spending time with my family. I love watching my son grow and teaching him new things. I also enjoy watching the History Channel. “Swamp People” is my favorite.