E.A. Sports Today

Donoho announces Sanders

Falcons announce former Victory Christian coach as their new head football coach

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Mark Sanders put the “victory” back into Victory Christian football, and now he’s getting the chance to do the same for Donoho.

The Falcons formally announced Sanders as its new football coach Friday. The former Ashville player and Alabama offensive lineman had been at Victory Christian for the past three years before confirming his ouster last month.

He was 18-15 there, with his best season in 2015 — 8-3 that included the school’s first home playoff game and a loss in the second round of the Class 1A playoffs. The Lions fell to 5-5 last season.

They had one victory — 1-37 — under three coaches in the four years prior to Sanders’ arrival.

Donoho is certainly in need of a jump start. The Falcons have gone 5-14 since Shannon Felder was replaced after the 2014 season after going 11-1.

“I guess any coach loves to get his hands on something he can make better,” Sanders said. “I guess that’s kind of the draw and the lure of getting into coaching, and wanting to see young men succeed and make them better than they were before. Anyone from a 1A coach like me to Nick Saban, it stands for anybody.

“It’s not always about the wins on the football field, even though we love to win games, it’s about winning at life and teaching them life’s lessons. That’s what I’m about.”

Sanders’ formula for bringing the Lions back started with developing a strength and conditioning program and having the players develop a sense of playing for each other; he’s a lot like another Alabama football alum, Dabo Swinney, in that regard. It will be the same formula at Donoho.

He will be a full-time employee at the school starting in the summer, but plans to be around campus Feb. 1 to start laying his new program’s foundation.

“It’s like at any school, if you don’t have a good strength and conditioning program you’re not going to be successful,” Sanders said. “It might take a little while to get things rolling st Donoho, but I know what I’m up against up there, but I met some of the kids today and I feel like we can do some good things. They have a good solid base to build on.”

He will oversee Donoho’s varsity and junior high football programs and serve as an assistant coach in junior high basketball, the school said.

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