HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - With a career full of multiple stops at the college level, Randy Butler decided to try a new level.
With this brought a new challenge in trying to build something special at Columbia Academy.
"It's been a really good basketball and baseball school in the past," Butler said. "We're just trying to make football something special here."
Mission accomplished for Butler and his Cougars. Last week they hosted a playoff game for the first time since 1995. The squad advanced with a win over Simpson Academy.
Butler doesn't take all the credit for this though. It all goes to his senior class.
"They've got great determination," Butler said. "They're bought into what we've brought to the program and they're really done a great job."
Cougars senior wide receiver Luke McKenzie said the talent was there but it was all about putting it together.
"I knew we had a lot of talent," McKenzie said. "I just didn't know how everybody would play together. But we've grown together as one and we've been playing good together."
Senior lineman Dylan Martin there was a certain change once Butler took over.
"Ever since coach showed up it's been great," Martin said. "They do a lot for us like no other coach has ever done for us. I love it."
The Cougars are no doubt setting a new program standard with this postseason run. It continues Friday night at top ranked Indianola Academy.
"I told somebody last week I needed to hire a historian from Columbia Academy to help me through this," Butler said. "But we're just trying to get through the next game."
The hope is to continue on this special ride.
"It's like coach said, we've got something special," McKenzie said. "And I hope it don't stop for another three or four weeks."