Friday, July 09, 2010

SPORTS>>Jacksonville expected to announce new coaches soon

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville athletic director Jerry Wilson said the school should be naming coaches to fill multiple vacancies, including that of head football coach, Tuesday morning.

“Hopefully, I’ll try to give you all the new hires,” Wilson said.
Football coach Mark Whatley announced late last month he was leaving to become offensive coordinator at Springdale High School under new coach Shane Patrick. Whatley, a Jacksonville alumnus, took over for veteran coach Johnny Watson after the 2004 season.

Whatley, 23-31 with three playoff appearances at Jacksonville and 114-105-2 overall, is not the athletic program’s only departure.

Volleyball coach Justine Rial has stepped down to focus on elementary school teaching after leading the team to the 6A state tournament in her two seasons. Rial was also a softball assistant.

Head softball coach Tanya Ganey recently gave up her volleyball assistant’s job, while the girls basketball program under Katrina Mimms is looking for an assistant to take over for Roy Jackson.

Jackson was an interim assistant to Mimms but is also the freshman boys head coach and an assistant to varsity basketball coach Vic Joyner.

As a public school in the Pul-aski County Special School District, Jacksonville was required to advertise its vacancies for a set period of time unless promoting a coach on an interim basis.

Former Jacksonville assistant and current North Pulaski head coach Rick Russell has been mentioned as a candidate for the Red Devils’ football job. Attempts to reach Russell on his cell phone Friday were unsuccessful.

Wilson had said earlier that he didn’t expect any action to be taken on the coaching jobs until the advertising period elapses on July 13, which is Tuesday. If there were any urgency, it would be in filling the football and volleyball jobs, as both sports begin in the fall.

“From head football to head volleyball to assistant basketball. It will be about six or seven of them,” Wilson said.