A Letcher County Central High School football coach who pledged to build up the program has left after coaching one year.
Paul Rains, 50, resigned as LCC’s head football coach on Monday and was announced as the new coach of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington on Tuesday afternoon. This will be his third hire in as many years.
The Cougars were 2-9 this past season. Rains replaced Mike Whitaker, who had resigned after coaching two seasons at LCCHS. Under Whitaker, the Cougars were 7-14.
Rains told the Lexington Herald- Leader the move is a family decision as he will be closer in proximity to two of his children who attend the University of Kentucky and another child who attends the University of Louisville.
Rains also told the Herald-Leader that he had been trying to find the right public school situation and that things either didn’t work out or a great opportunity somewhere else came along.
Under Rains’s leadership, Lexington Christian Academy won the Class A state championship in 2009. He coached LCA for seven years.
Rains, a 1980 graduate of Williamsburg High School, was in- ducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
Rains, who is from Whitley County, also built programs at Hazard, Montgomery County, Madison Central, and Mercer County high schools.
Rains, a graduate of Cumberland College, began his coaching career at Johnson Central High School. He became head coach at Hazard High School in 1987. In 1992, he coached the Bulldogs in an undefeated season.
In 1993, Rains coached the Montgomery County football team to its first winning season in six years. Montgomery County was AAA state semifinalist in 1995 and 1996.
Rains won a district championship in 2002 at Madison Central.
After taking a year off from coaching LCA to a state title, Rains was hired in 2011 as head coach at Mercer County. The Titans, which had not had a winning season in three years, finished this past season with a record of 5-7. In the playoffs Mercer County beat Russell County, which was ranked sixth.
In his 25 years of coaching football, Dunbar will become the latest target for Rains to try to turn around into a winning program.