Dicus leaves more than just football lessons with players, resigns as head coach

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Coach Jeff Dicus watches on as his Panthers get behind in a tough district match with DeSoto to finish the season at 1-6 in district play.  A week later, Dicus announced his resignation. (Shay Rhodes photo)
Coach Jeff Dicus watches on as his Panthers get behind in a tough district match with DeSoto to finish the season at 1-6 in district play. A week later, Dicus announced his resignation. (Shay Rhodes photo)

Over the past seven years Head Football coach Jeff Dicus has worked with hundreds of Panther players helping them overcome  academics issues, building skills as well as creating a strong sense of   INTEGRITY within the program.

“We didn’t win as many games on the field like we all wanted,” Dicus said. “But i do believe we won a lot of games in the GAME OF LIFE.”

Anyone who does their research on the Duncanville’s football program can find out that the team’s academic success prior to Dicus signing his contract at the school was under 60% on all levels.  Over the past seven years he has targeted academics and this year the varsity team was over a 90% pass rate.

“Coach Dicus stayed on us about our grades and made sure our academics were taken care of  first,” defensive lineman Sammie Awad said.  “Then he focused on what we should do on the field.”

Before Dicus arrival to Duncanville the team only won 4 games in two years.  Dicus came to Duncanville with high expectations in 2008 after  coaching Lake Travis’ to their first state title in 2007 for Class 4A Division II after they post a 1-19 record over two seasons. Duncanville reached the state playoffs in Dicus’ first four years and was District Co-Champions in 2010 as well as advancing to the second round of the state playoffs. Duncanville competed in a Class 6A district tis year with Cedar Hill, DeSoto, Mansfield and South Grand Prairie and has been unable to make the playoffs the last two years posting a 3-5 record this year. During his time as head coach, the Panthers have seen players sign scholarships with both Division 1 and 2 schools as well as several young men going on to play at Junior College’s. 

“Karen and I came to Duncanville seven years ago to pull together a football program and I truly believe we’re leaving it better than we found it,” Dicus said.  “We have operated on values of discipline, hard work, attitude, and INTEGRITY.”

Over the years Dicus admits he and his wife have made many great friendships. He also isn’t sure at this point what stepping away from this program means for him personally. Dicus is known for developing players and has coached for over 31 years so the future is unclear at this point.

“He just said he’s going to step aside.  He’s not sure if he’s going to retire or just resign from this job,” Athletic Director Cathy Self-Morgan said. “He’s done a great job here, he just felt he didn’t get them to where we wanted to get them in the last three years.”

Whatever he decides to do there are players here at Duncanville that will always remember the impact he made on their lives.

“He was a great coach, not only did he teach football, but he also instilled in us to good character,” Awad said. “He  made us better young men who will always strive to do what is right in and outside of school.”