OC leader thinking long-term for football

OC leader thinking long-term for football
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
While conducting a coaching search to fill his vacant head football position, Obion County Central Athletic Director Craig Rogers is adamant about one thing in particular.
He doesn’t want to have to repeat the process in a couple of years.
“I want to get someone in here who will give the position stability where we’re not doing this again in two or three years,” Rogers told The Messenger. “And that’s something I’m discussing with the people that I interview.”
The Rebels have never had a head football coach with longer than an eight-year tenure. In fact, eight of the 13 men to fill the position in the 52-season history of the program have stayed four years or less.
Jim McPeake (1978-85) had the longest stretch as head coach and is tied with Charles Akers (1971-77) for the most wins in the OCCHS grid annals with 32.
Rogers said he “lost count at 40” as far as number of resumes he received for the job that was left open when Shawn Jackson resigned last week after five seasons at the Rebel helm.
“We had a couple who’d played in the NFL and some others with impressive references — one who even listed (Florida State University coaching legend) Bobby Bowden.”
It appears none of those will be seriously considered for the post, however, with Rogers saying he would be interviewing “four or five people that he had narrowed his list down to.”
“All of them are familiar with Obion Central and our situation here, and all have a good knowledge of the rural West Tennessee football landscape,” the Rebel administrator and ex-Dresden head football coach said.
At least one of those men who either have or will be interviewed was a member of Jackson’s staff.
Two others have reportedly also been past aides with the Rebel program while a fourth is presently an assistant coach in the area.
Though he wouldn’t give a specific time frame, Rogers said he hopes to name a new skipper before the Christmas break for student/athletes.
“We certainly hope so. We’d like to have the position filled and our offseason plan in place for when the kids come back after the holidays,” he added. “Obviously, we want the new coach to go through spring with our kids.”
School dismisses for the Obion County System Dec. 21.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at mhutch@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 12.6.12

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