JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – Mt. Pisgah’s Mike Forester has capped a12-1 season in his first year as head coach by being selected Class A Coach of the year by both the Atlanta Falcons and the North Fulton-Forsyth Touchdown Club.
Forester came to Mt. Pisgah in 2012 to be the defensive coordinator for the Patriots. When head coach Doug Dixon left the next season to coach in Savannah, Forester was named to replace him. He did not disappoint.
He led his Patriots to a perfect 10-0 regular season and the school’s first football region championship. Forester then notched two wins in the playoffs before his boys lost a heartbreaker in the closing minutes 17-16 to Pacelli, the eventual state champion.
Forester had coached for 19 years at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Ala., a 5A school in the Alabama High School Athletic Association. There Forester helped Briarwood to three state championships (1998, 1999 and 2003), as well as two state runners-up finishes (2007 and 2010).
“It is quite an honor to receive this award. I am thankful for what this reward means. Anytime you receive an award like this it is symbolic,” Forester said receiving the Falcons tribute. “It really reflects the great coaching staff, administration, players and parents that we have at Mount Pisgah.”
Forester took his Patriots almost to the state title game in his first year. He says he owes a lot to the years he spent at Briarwood and the success of the program the head coach there had.
“There were a lot of situations when I asked myself what he would do,” Forester said. “I was part of a great program, and I’ve tried to bring the things that made that program so good to Mt. Pisgah.”
How does he plan to improve next year? Forester said he likes the rising underclassmen’s attitude.
“I think since that night was over, that they will feel we have unfinished business. The juniors, sophomores and freshmen on this team have gotten a taste of it. Hopefully that will provide us with the motivation to take it a step further,” he said.
Forester has made his mark on the Pisgah program and on the young men he coaches.
“Coach Forester has come in this year and totally changed the dynamics of our program. He has been a positive influence on me on and off the field,” said Pisgah senior Patrick Messinger.
“He is a man of great faith, and a tremendous mentor to our team and the Pisgah community. I could not have asked for a better senior year. We are all blessed to have Coach Forester in our lives.”
Forester may have been destined to be a coach. He certainly has football in his DNA. Not only was he a three-year letterman at the University of Mississippi, his father was a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
Bill Forester was a linebacker for the Green Bay from 1953-1963 and played on the 1961 and 1962 Championship teams. A captain of Vince Lombardi’s defense, the elder Forester also held the Packer’s consecutive games played record until it was broken by Brett Farve.
Forester’s uncle, Herschel Forester Jr., played at SMU and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns. He was one of Paul Brown’s first “messenger” guards and a member of the Browns 1954 championship team.
“Coach Forester has done a phenomenal job especially in his first year as head coach. What he has meant to these players, their families, the coaches and this school can't be measured in wins and losses,” said Pisgah Director of Athletics Blake Davenport. “I look forward to seeing him guide this program to new heights on and off the field in the years to come."