Forester has a distinguished high school coaching background, serving as an assistant at Briarwood Christian School for 19 years under the guidance of legendary head coach Fred Yancey in Birmingham, Ala. Briarwood won three state championships during Forester’s tenure in 1998, 1999 and 2003 as well as two runner-up finishes in 2007 and 2010.
Forester, a Dallas native, was a three-year letter winner as a defensive end for the University of Mississippi and earned an undergraduate degree in business administration. His football roots are even deeper as his father, Bill Forester, was a member of the Green Bay Packers of the NFL from 1953 to 1963 and won two championships under the guidance of Hall of Fame head coach Vince Lombardi.
“The biggest influence my family took from coach Lombardi was how to play the game with effort,” said Forester. “The belief in striving to win with your teammates is the most important thing.”
Forester takes over for Doug Dixon, who had served as the Patriots head coach since 2007 before resigning. Dixon helped lead Mount Pisgah in its transition from a Georgia Independent School Association program to its current classification as a part of GHSA. Forester came to Mount Pisgah last season from Alabama and cites his family residency in the state of Georgia as a major factor in the move.
“The growth of the program has been good,” said Forester, whose teaching credentials includes classes in theology, philosophy, geography and psychology. “Coach Dixon did a good job here building this up. Making the playoffs was a huge step for this school.”
Helping in the transition on the field will be returning starting quarterback, junior Aaron Winchester, who passed for 1,123 yards last season with 14 touchdowns and also rushed for 494 yards.
“Aaron (Winchester) had a good summer for us, put on muscle and is looking really good for this upcoming season,” Forester said.
Junior running back Oz Dixon and senior Tommy Pease look to see an increased role on the offense this year as well.
Defensively, junior defensive lineman Shingirai Chigwere looks to build on his 70 tackles and three sacks campaign from last season alongside junior linebacker John O’Connor and senior defensive backs Patrick Messenger and Jacob Delk, who led the team in interceptions last season with six.
The upcoming schedule includes contests against region opponents Walker, King’s Ridge, Whitefield Academy, Mount Paran Christian and Fellowship Christian.
“We feel good about our future and focusing on the work ethic we have as a program,” said Forester.
“We realize the importance of every day and the one thing that you can control is the way you play the game with toughness and intensity while knowing what you’re doing and being very disciplined. We hope to move to the next level where making the playoffs is expected and playing for a state title every year is a goal.”