Aaron Pixley, Dexter's all-time winningest football coach, will not be leading the Bearcats on the field any longer. The longest tenured football coach in Southeast Missouri will leave Dexter at the end of this school year and assume a similar position at Kennett High School.
"It was a difficult decision for me and my family to leave Dexter at the end of this school year," Pixley commented. "We have many close friends in the school district and community that we will miss greatly.
"I also want to thank my coaches for the great work and sacrifice they have put in and continue to put in for the student athletes at Dexter," he added. "There is a solid foundation here with our weightlifting and football program. The kids are lifting hard and will be bigger, faster, stronger, and better next season."
In 2012, Pixley suffered through his worst season ever while at Dexter with a 1-9 record, dropping his career won-loss record to 78-58. But that can't overshadow his success while at the helm of the Dexter football program.
In 2011 Pixley led the 'Cats to a 9-1 season that included a Class 3, District 1 title and a SEMO Central Conference Championship. In addition he has led Dexter to district titles in 2002, 2005, 2010, and conference titles in 2002, 2005. Pixley led the 'Cats to a Class 3 state quarterfinal appearance in 2010.
Pixley inherits a Kennett program that he has dominated during his 13 years at Dexter. During that span, a Pixley-coached Dexter football team has never lost to Kennett. The Bearcats' lone win last season was a 26-7 decision over the Indians.
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.
"The position at Kennett will be exciting and challenging, and I'm looking forward to it," Pixley said. "My hope is to help all student athletes at Kennett become physically and mentally stronger in order to be the best they can be for their school and teams."
Kennett will compete in an 8-team district along with Dexter and New Madrid County Central, Park Hills Central, Fredericktown, 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 gone 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.
Pixley's wife, Amy, who has taught kindergarten at Southwest Elementary for 13 years, will also be teaching in the Kennett School system.