The Daleville City Board of Education officially accepted head football coach Desmond Lett’s resignation letter at the Dec. 16 board meeting.
Lett also resigned as athletic director of Daleville High School. He confirmed to The Sun that he was told he would be fired if he didn’t step down as coach and athletic director, however.
“I was given a choice to either resign or be terminated from the head coaching and athletic director position,” Lett said. “Instead of trying to make a messy swap from coaches, and in order to make it a smooth transition to the next coach, I decided it would be best for me to step down.
“I wanted them to be able to get the next coach in and let him introduce his philosophy and let the kids get started.”
Daleville Superintendent Dr. Lisa Stamps released a statement in regards to Lett’s resignation at the board meeting.
“Coach Lett has been and will continue to be a valuable asset to our faculty and students as a physical education teacher in our system,” Stamps said. “Our board, administration and staff appreciates everything Coach Lett has done for the DHS students as well as the football and other athletic programs.”
Lett was a high school football star at Geneva County and first came to Daleville as a coaching intern in 2014 after graduating from Troy. Lett then served as junior high head coach and defensive backs coach for the varsity team before becoming offensive coordinator in 2018. He also served as softball coach for three seasons.
After former head coach Trey Woolf departed Daleville in the spring of 2019, Lett was named interim head coach and then promoted to permanent head coach.
Lett was one of the youngest head coaches in the state and helped guide the 2019 Warhawks to a successful season that saw superstar running back Jalen White break the single season rushing record for the entire state.
“I love Daleville High School. It’s the only place I’ve been since my internship and I think the world of the kids there,” Lett said. “Having that first (head) coaching experience at the age of 26 is very rare. I think having that under my belt it will help me in the future become a better coach.”
The Warhawks had less than 30 varsity players in 2020 – due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic – and the team went 1-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Lett’s final message to his players was one that he has preached since taking over the program.
“When I went in and told them I was stepping down I told them that it doesn’t matter who the head coach is at Daleville. The success is based on how hard they work in the weight room and in the class room,” Lett emphasized. “If they want to be successful it starts before they step on that field on Friday nights and even starts before they step on the practice field. They have to do the work and put in the work it takes to be good. Everyone wants to be good but not everyone wants to put in the work it takes.”
Lett said that there were a lot of players and moments that stand out from his time at Daleville.
“The thing that stands out the most is the atmosphere at Daleville. The kids want someone to come in and care for them and someone they can trust in and believe in,” Lett said. “There are a lot of moments at Daleville that stand out to me from my internship until now and there have been a lot of great athletes that have come through here the last few years.
“Alex McNeil, KJ Walker, Tyler Presley and Jalen White to name a few. What Jalen did last year breaking the single season rushing record was incredible. Not just Jalen though but you have kids from this year that didn’t get the recognition or have the record we were looking for but were just great kids and great athletes. Guys like Sincere (McKenzie), Cam Giles and Myles (Parris) and the list goes on. They’ve been great kids and tremendous atheltes.”
Lett will remain at Daleville as a physical education teacher at Windham Elementary and he said that he will also pursue another degree in January and his coaching career is far from over.
“My plan is to focus on teaching and I plan to start back to school in January and pursue my administration degree,” Lett said. “As far as getting back into coaching, I will get back into it when I find that right fit for me.”