Football coach Aaron Pixley provides instruction at Dexter. Pixley was hired as head football coach at Kennett Tuesday night. Pixley, which attended Dexter High School, had served as the head coach at Dexter since 2000.
Aaron Pixley, who has served as the head football coach at Dexter since 2000, has accepted the varsity head football coaching job at Kennett for the 2013-14 school year.
Pixley became the longest tenured football coach in southeast Missouri during his 13-year reign as head coach at Dexter.
"Dexter has been great to me and I'm really going to miss a lot of people from the town, especially the kids," Pixley said in a phone interview. "They've worked very hard for me over the past 13 years and I'm going to miss Dexter.
"But Kennett has always been a very intriguing place to not only me, but a lot of coaches in southeast Missouri," Pixley continued. "I think it is a program that can win. I think it's a challenge and I'm very excited to help not only the football program, but help make all athletes bigger, faster and stronger."
According to an article published in Dexter Daily Statesman on Aug. 23, 2012, Pixley is Dexter's all-time winningest football coach. Dexter won district titles under Pixley in 2010 and 2011 and advanced to the Class 3 state quarterfinals in 2010.
Dexter went 1-9 in the 2012 season under Pixley. Dexter defeated Kennett 26-7 in the 2012 season. According to an article published by Dexter Daily Statesman, Pixley never lost a head-to-head varsity game against Kennett while coaching at Dexter.
Pixley will replace Corey Adkisson as head coach at Kennett. Adkisson served as head football coach at Kennett in the 2011 and 2012 football seasons before resigning in Nov. 2012.
Kennett's last winning football season at the varsity level was in 2008 when it went 6-4 under Kirk Welch, who left the program following the 2008 season after going 17-22 over a four-year span at Kennett. Kennett last won a district title in 1986.
Pixley said he believes the first step toward success is working hard in the weight room.
"I think the main thing is changing the mindset a little bit and basically making the strength and conditioning the foundation of the program," he said. "Once you make that your foundation you have a number of things licked. If we can get the kids to buy into that phase of the program everything else will fall into place.
"We will be very busy with our camps, contact days and things like that," Pixley continued. "I'm sure some of the ideas I bring in will be different from what they are used to. I want to make kids believe in themselves, their teammates and get them to work together for one common goal. I think that one common goal starts in the weight room."
Kennett will compete in an 8-team district with New Madrid County Central, Park Hills Central, Fredericktown, Dexter, Lift for Life Academy Charter, Potosi and Ste. Genevieve in the upcoming season.
"It's a very tough district," Pixley said. "It's a district I know very well. There are some very good coaches and very good teams in it, especially now that it has went to the 8-team format. It's not going to be easy or happen overnight. It's going to be something we have to build. It will take time, but I believe Kennett can win. With hard work and doing everything together as a team toward one common goal I think our kids will have a chance to be very, very competitive in that district."
Pixley served as an assistant football coach at Kennett in the 1994-95 school year. He was also an assistant coach at New Madrid County Central from 1995-2000.
"My family and I are excited and looking forward to the opportunities at Kennett," Pixley said.