Saturday May 30th, 2015 12:36AM

Dix reverses course on coaching change, returns 'home' to East Hall

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
RABBITTOWN -- Joe Dix called it the toughest decision he ever had to make last week when he opted to leave East Hall basketball for South Gwinnett.

Turns out it was too tough.

After agonizing over his move away from Valhalla, Dix called East Hall principal Jeff Cooper on Friday and asked if he could come back to the Vikings.

Cooper welcomed Dix back with open arms, announcing the state title-winning coach had returned to East Hall on Wednesday.

"We didn't want to lose him from the beginning, and it's a no-brainer on our part to keep him here," said Cooper. "He's a huge part of our community."

It was that bond with East Hall that proved too much to keep Dix away.

"I had been really uncomfortable ever since I made the decision," said Dix, who left the Vikings for the Comets on May 21. "I really missed the guys on the team. It was awful really. I wasn't sleeping... It was just more than I could imagine."

Dix led a handful of practices with South Gwinnett last week -- it was the only time he felt at ease.

"We had about three practices, and the kids were great and had already bought in," Dix said. "But that was my only peace, was when I was on the floor at practice. When I told the kids I was going back (to East Hall) I told them it wasn't anything about them. They were great kids, and there's a great administration down there. Someone's going to reap the benefits there.

"I just couldn't leave home."

Valhalla became home for Dix straight out of college. A North Georgia College and State University graduate, Dix joined the Vikings program for the 1996-97 season, eventually taking over as head coach from Seth Vining in 2004-05 and winning a state title in his first season in charge.

During eight seasons at the helm, Dix has led East Hall to a 194-51 record that also included three state semifinal appearances and five Lanierland Tournament championships.

East Hall went 22-8 last season, reaching the second round of the Class AA playoffs.

"This is my home," Dix said. "My players were glad to have me back. I'm glad to be back."
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Top 10 sports stories of the year: 2012 one for the history books
2012 has been all things to all people in the sports world. The last 12 months have run the gamut of emotions and given fans and spectators much to awe, rue and everything in between.
2:33PM ( 2 years ago )
College Football Hall to break ground in Atlanta
Groundbreaking for the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta will be Jan. 28 and the museum is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
2:15PM ( 2 years ago )
Boys basketball: Dawson County storms to Battle of States crown, 13-0 mark
The Dawson boys basketball team extended their perfect start to the season to 13-0 -- their best opening in over 40 years -- on Saturday, claiming the Battle of the States tournament title in the process, 62-22 over Murphy, N.C., in Hiawassee.
11:17PM ( 2 years ago )
Girls basketball: Chestatee stumbles to losses in tournament play
The Chestatee girls basketball team dropped a 50-47 decision to Allatoona on Saturday at the Allatoona Christmas Tournament in Acworth.
8:19PM ( 2 years ago )
High School Sports
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Jefferson man loses life in morning wreck
A Jefferson man was killed in a single vehicle traffic accident late Monday morning in Jackson County.
4:58PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
One killed, another injured in Cumming car accident
One person was killed and another seriously injured early Friday evening in a two-vehicle collision in Forsyth County.
9:49PM ( 2 hours ago )
Five injured after pedestrian enters Sardis Rd
Charges are pending against a pedestrian who reportedly caused a car accident on Sardis Road in Hall County.
5:52PM ( 6 hours ago )
Father: Woman shot by sheriff told Gwinnett police it was an accident
The woman who was shot and critically wounded by a Georgia sheriff told a detective the shooting was an accident that happened while they were practicing self-defense tactics in an empty model home in Gwinnett County, her father said Friday.
3:52PM ( 8 hours ago )
Falcon LB wanted for Aggravated Animal Cruelty
Atlanta Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo is wanted by Gwinnett County Police.
3:51PM ( 8 hours ago )
Lake Russell swimming area reopens, Lake Rabun still closed because of bacteria
One swimming beach is open but another remains closed in north Georgia after U.S. Forest Service officials found elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the water last Saturday.
2:12PM ( 10 hours ago )