Seven years after graduating from Sterlington High School, Kevin Dizer has rejoined the Panthers as a defensive backs coach.
Not long ago, high school coaching wasn't on Kevin Dizer's radar.
Fast forward a few months and Dizer is entering his first season as a high school coach at his alma mater, Sterlington High.
Ironically, Kevin Dizer stepped into the vacancy left by his brother, DeMichael Dizer. A former Sterlington Panther, Grambling State Tiger and Seattle Seahawk, DeMichael Dizer is now employed at Victory Sports Academy.
Kevin Dizer, a 2007 Sterlington High graduate, spent the past seven years at Belhaven (Miss.) University — four as a player, three as a coach.
“We are excited about the addition of Kevin to our staff,” Sterlington coach Jason Thompson said. “Any time you can get an alumnus on board with college playing and coaching experience, it's a huge plus. Our football team and our school will benefit from his presence here.”
Following a coaching change at Belhaven — one-time Kentucky head coach Hal Mumme was hired to succeed Joseph Thrasher, who stepped down to accept a position as a high school athletic director — Dizer was approached about returning to Sterlington.
“I never really had any plans to coach in high school; that's just the way it worked out,” Dizer said. “I never could land the college job I really wanted and coach Thompson and some other people wanted me to come back here. That's kind of how I ended up back home.”
After working with the Panthers in spring training, Dizer was sold on coming home. And, it sounds like he's on board for the long haul.
“The area's really growing. I like what coach Thompson's doing with the football program,” Dizer said. “I definitely think Sterlington football is on the rise again. I'm excited about the future of the program and looking forward to being part of it. Sterlington has great facilities and great people.
“I didn't know anything about coach Thompson when I got here, but he definitely knows what he's doing. He's put together a great staff. I think the world of him and a lot of other people here, too.”
Having spent his entire three-year stint at Belhaven coaching wide receivers, Dizer is still adjusting to the secondary.
“This is my first time coaching on the defensive side of the ball, so it's going to be something new to me,” Dizer said. “Coach (Mark) Sims is a great defensive backs coach and I'm looking forward to learning from him.”
Having joined the Panthers for spring practice, Dizer has an idea of what to expect from the Panthers' secondary.
“We're really young, but we have some talent,” Dizer said. “I've been gone for awhile, so I'm not familiar with the level of competition. But once we get some guys in the right spots, I think we'll be good enough to compete with most teams. We definitely have some work ahead of us to get where we need to be, but we have a great group of guys who are willing to work hard. Hopefully, we'll be able to come together and make some plays.”
A three-sport athlete (football, basketball and track) in high school, Dizer was a two-year starter as a wide receiver/defensive back for the Panthers.
At Belhaven, Dizer was a two-time All-Mid-South Conference selection. Finishing his playing career with a flourish, Dizer led the conference in receiving as a senior with 57 receptions for 840 yards and five touchdowns. His 1,488 receiving yards ranks seventh in school history.
Dizer earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in sports administration from Belhaven.