UC’s Cruce next to take GC project

UC’s Cruce next to take GC project
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Morgan Cruce is diving head-first into the deep waters of the head football coaching business.
The 26-year-old Union City High School assistant the past four years has officially accepted the head position at Gibson County High School.
Cruce, a 2004 graduate of Obion Central, admittedly faces a daunting task as the Pioneer program has lost 33 consecutive games over the past four seasons and hasn’t posted a winning season in 16 years.
GC has missed the playoffs in 12 straight seasons.
“What was attractive to me about the job was the opportunity to compete and win at a school that is the perpetual underdog,” Cruce said this morning when confirming his new job. “We’ll obviously fly under the radar initially because of the program’s past, but we’ll ultimately have the opportunity to make some noise in a district that is super-competitive, but has teams like Milan that regularly competes for a state championship.”
Cruce, who graduated from the former Lambuth University in 2008, will replace Lee Adkins, who did not win a game in his two seasons at GCHS.
The new Pioneer skipper will reportedly be allowed to bring one assistant coach with him.
Cruce was an aide and one of Darren Bowling’s first hires when Bowling took the Union City job in the winter of 2007. He coached the Tornado slots and defensive backs during his four-year tenure and held the title of defensive coordinator this past year. He played for Bowling at OCCHS.
“I certainly wish Morgan the best,” the Union City coach said. “He’s been a good assistant for me. He’s been loyal, he’s hard-working and he’s a good football coach.
“I know he has a big task ahead of him, but he’ll certainly roll up his sleeves and go to work at it. Gibson County is getting a good young coach and a good person.”
Cruce, who’ll stay and teach at UCHS for the remainder of the school year, is the second Tornado assistant to take another job since the end of the 2010 season.
Cole Clanton, who also played for Bowling at Obion Central and had been with the Twister program for two seasons, accepted a job as an aide at McKenzie, where he will work for his father-in-law, Rebel skipper Wade Comer.
Union City has hired veteran coach John Diehl, who has extensive experience in both Florida and New York, to fill Clanton’s spot on the staff and in the classroom as a history teacher.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.5.12

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