AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - During five seasons with Americus High School, Erik Soliday led the Panthers to 57 wins and back-to-back state championships in 2000 and 2001.
Now he's back after an 11 year absence.
Soliday coached at Turner County and Perry before returning to lead the Panthers.
He says he wouldn't have come back if he didn't feel Americus-Sumter could once again return to their state title status.
It won't be easy though. The Panthers have had only two winning seasons since the merger of Americus High School and Sumter Co. High School in 2004.
Soliday says his first task is toughen this team up.
"The only way to do that is get back in the conventional I-formation, just pound each other a little bit, and get those kids into that mental mindset that it's a physical game," Soliday says. "Once you get that toughness going, you can run about any offense you want and make it work. But we have to get that physicality back."
The Panthers' second run under Soliday begins on August 21 when the Panthers host Smith's Station High School out of Alabama.