Pittman, Fort Valley State bounce back from tough year

dshirley@macon.comNovember 9, 2012 

Before the season, there was plenty of talk about Donald Pittman’s job status as Fort Valley State’s head coach.

A 2-8 season like the one the Wildcats had in 2011 can lead to those discussions.

But those people calling for Pittman’s job really look silly now.

Pittman’s Wildcats have bounced back from a season in which everything went wrong to have a strong campaign this year. Fort Valley State is 8-2 and has won six of its seven games in SIAC play, which was good enough to win the conference’s East Division title.

That division crown was earned last week when the Wildcats easily defeated rival Albany State in Columbus in the Fountain City Classic.

All in all, it has been a terrific season for the Wildcats.

But it’s not over just yet.

Pittman’s team heads to Atlanta on Saturday to face Tuskegee in the SIAC championship game. The Tigers knocked off Miles last week to win the West Division crown and set up the championship game, which will be played at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta.

The Wildcats’ lone conference loss came against the Tigers to the tune of 49-18 in September. But Fort Valley State is a much different team now and hasn’t lost since that game.

Tuskegee, however, hasn’t lost all season in SIAC play, winning all seven of its games on its way to an 8-1 record overall. Both teams have been strong throughout the year, and that should lead to a terrific conference title game.

The Wildcats have a lot of momentum, and beating a rival so bad last week will just strengthen that. But no matter what happens Saturday, this season should solidify Pittman’s spot as the Wildcats’ head coach.

Pittman has done a good job with the Wildcats’ program and is moving in the right direction -- even with last year’s bump in the road of a season.

Stability hasn’t been a strength of Fort Valley State’s athletics department, but the football team has a solid head coach in Pittman, and it would be better off with him staying in place to run the show.

He will have a lot of support now with a division crown in his pocket this season, and that would be made even stronger by an overall SIAC championship and a trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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