Mercer at Auburn

Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway (36) runs after a catch in the first half. Mercer at Auburn football on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 in Auburn, Ala. Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

Former Prattville head coach Jamey DuBose just missed working with running back Kamryn Pettway during Pettway’s playing career with the Lions. Five years after Pettway graduated from Prattville, the duo will have that opportunity in Phenix City.

DuBose announced Pettway will be Central-Phenix City’s fullbacks coach this season. In addition to coaching fullbacks, the former Auburn University football player will also assist with the Red Devils’ running backs.

“It means a lot to me, just to have this opportunity with a great program and a great head coach. I didn't get a chance to play with coach DuBose at Prattville, so it means a lot now that he's brought me onto this coaching staff,” Pettway said. “I was teaching and coaching last year at Park Crossing. I just wanted to leave, get away from Montgomery, do something different with my life and move my family. I felt like this was a great opportunity for me as well as my family.”

Pettway’s year as Park Crossing running backs coach was his first at the high school level. Prior to that, he made his name with the ball in his hands.

After graduating from Prattville in 2014, Pettway signed with Auburn. He played three seasons with the Tigers, including a standout 2016 season that saw him rush for 1,224 yards and earn first team All-SEC honors. He appeared in five games as a junior then declared for the 2018 NFL Draft.

Pettway signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in April 2018 but was cut soon after. He recently finished his second season playing with the Columbus Lions of the National Arena League.

Pettway said he learned a lot about coaching during the 2018 season at Park Crossing. He also credited former Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton as an influence in his budding coaching career.

“I learned a lot about being a coach from coach Horton when I was hurt. He always knew I wanted to be a coach, so I was kind of like his little personal assistant,” Pettway said. “Coach Horton was a coach that, first off, he loved us like his sons. He coached us to be the best that what we wanted to be – not just for his sake but for us as well. He coached us on and off the field.”

DuBose explained he had conversations with Pettway about joining the Central staff for quite some time. The two sides finally made it work, and although DuBose would have liked to bring Pettway on sooner, for the head coach it was better late than never.

“He's a young guy, so he can communicate well with the players,” DuBose said. “He’s able to give them insight, too, running back-wise. He's able to tell them some things that's going to help them. Anytime you've got an opportunity to get a guy with the knowledge he has and a guy that's a young guy wanting to get into coaching, you've got to take it.

“I'm very proud it (worked out). I'm proud it worked out for him, and I'm proud it worked out for us. I think it's a win in both categories there.”

Pettway explained he wants to serve as a springboard for the Central players and as a coach whose brain they can pick as much as possible. He said he understands so many high school players want to reach the levels he did in his own playing career, and he’s eager to give them insight on how to make it happen.

Pettway has hit the ground running at Central with DuBose and wide receivers coach Justin Albert helping him get up to speed. The countdown is on for Central’s season opener against Hoover, and even though Pettway will busy in the time between now and then, that game can’t get here soon enough for him.

“I'm very excited about being here and the first game of the season,” Pettway said. “I just can't wait to see what this season may hold.”

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