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Sumter County native new coach, AD at WAP

If coaches are judged by their records, it’s somewhat surprising that Webb Tutt has lost his job as head football coach at West Alabama Prep. (He transformed the winless Titans into a playoff team in just one year.)

Actually, Tutt hasn’t lost a coaching job. Rather, he’s handed it over to a prot/g/, and Tutt couldn’t sound more excited.

Over the weekend, York native and former Sumter Academy assistant Bob Taylor told members of his current team that he had accepted the position of athletic director and head football coach at West Alabama Prep. For the past two years, Taylor has coached the Lakeside School Chiefs in Eufaula.

“He’s done a good job with Lakeside,” Tutt said of his former assistant. “He coached three sports there and he took all of them to the final four.”

When Taylor took over the Lakeside program in 2002, the situation was quite similar to that of WAP. The year prior, the Chiefs went 3-7. Coming to WAP, Taylor will inherit a team that went 4-6 last season. The year before Tutt assumed the head coaching job at WAP, the Titans were winless.

“I’m sure going to enjoy sitting in the stands,” Tutt said of his new position. “Obviously, every coach has that competitive bone that won’t go away, but I’m looking forward to watching [Taylor] coach.”

Asked of any continuing responsibilities, Tutt said he and Taylor plan to discuss some sort or ancillary role for Tutt.

“If he wants some help in the press box, I might do that with him. At the same time, you want to give him a fresh start,” Tutt said.

Taylor, who has many close relationships in the Demopolis area, will leave a program in Eufaula that was clearly on the rise. In a story published in The Eufaula Tribune, he expressed optimism that he could help build the same sort of program at WAP.

“I’m sad and excited,” he said. “I’m sad to leave with what’s happening here, but excited to try it all over again. I feel like it’s the right time to move on.”

In discussions with Taylor, Tutt said the young coach has a keen ability to develop relationships with his players.

“He’s a younger guy who can relate to the players,” Tutt said. “That’s something he’ll bring to the school. He’s also a good coach.”

Taylor seems to understand the task that lies in front of him at WAP.

“I have some work ahead of me there,” he told The Tribune.

Tutt, who manages Demopolis Hardwood, believes Taylor will add another dimension at WAP.

“One of the things I wasn’t able to do was be on campus with the kids,” he said. “Bob will be there with them, and that’s going to help. A coach has to be on campus.”