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Former national coach of the year Lance Pogue hired by Columbia High School

Lance Pogue served as head coach of Jackson Academy, among a list of other high schools, after an impressive run at South Panola from 2007-2016 (File photo)

One of Mississippi’s premiere high school football coaches is making a move.

Lance Pogue, who led South Panola to a national championship in 2010 and was subsequently named America’s top high school coach for that year, was announced as head coach and athletic director at Columbia High School on Tuesday.

Columbia is classified as a 4A school and is coming off a 14-1 overall record in 2023 with its lone loss coming in the state championship game. Pogue replaces Chip Bilderback following Bilderback’s recent resignation after six seasons to move closer to his wife, Missy, who is going into her second season as the head women’s basketball coach at the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

“Coach Pogue brings an outstanding record of success and wealth of experience to our district,” Columbia School District Superintendent Dr. Jason Harris said. “His leadership has consistently developed strong, competitive teams and positively influenced countless student-athletes. We are excited to see the positive impact Coach Pogue will have on our football program and our student-athletes.”

Pogue, 55, won five state championships from 2007-2016 while at South Panola. Last season was his first in decades to not be on the sidelines as he took a year off after a one-year stint at Heritage Academy, a private school in Columbus. From 2020-2021, he coached at Jackson Academy. Other stops along the way for Pogue have included Eupora High School, Winona Academy, Madison Central, and Mississippi Delta Community College.

Pogue begins his tenure at Columbia with an overall record of 238-67 over 23 seasons.

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