Friday, May 30, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> Football coaching search should be quick

Leader sports editor

In just one week after posting the opening for the Jacksonville head football coaching position, JHS athletic director Jerry Wilson has received dozens of applications that he began sifting through on Tuesday. The position has to remain posted for at least two weeks, which ends on Friday.

Wilson plans to stop the application process after the minimum required time elapses, and get to work on the hiring process as soon as possible.

“Next week is June,” said Wilson. “I really need someone in place by the end of next week because that’s when school lets out. I want to be able to give these kids a name and a face to identify with before the dead period. So I’m hoping, I’m hoping, by the end of next week we’ll have a football coach.”

Wilson wasn’t able to be specific about the names of applicants so far because of their current positions at other schools. He did say that most of the applicants are currently assistant coaches with a couple of current head coaches in the mix. He also said the geographic range of applicants is broad.

“We’ve got applicants from northwest Arkansas to southeast Texas,” Wilson said. “Right now there are about 20 resumes that have been turned in. And I’ve gotten some phone calls from several other people that are seriously interested. It’s going to be a task. That’s why I want to start on this as soon as possible. We got through state tournaments. We’ve had graduation. We’ve got all that stuff out of the way. Now it’s time to hire a football coach.”

One problem Wilson faces is the lack of teaching positions for the future coach to fill, but he says that will just have to be dealt with.

“That’s a little bit of a snag, but that’s really water under the bridge at this point,” Wilson said. “We’re needing to move forward. Maybe just the right person will rise to the top. If not we’ll have to work something out the best we can.”

Wilson is also working on getting the Red Devils into some summer activities like 7-on-7 meets and team camps before they fill up.

“That’s just something I’m trying to throw together to keep them active and I’ll just hand off what I came up with to the new coach,” Wilson said. “He can tweak it or do what he wants with it at that point.”

Wilson wants to start the interview process early next week.

“I’m trying to get some interviews set up but we can’t do any until the two weeks is up,” Wilson said. “If it all goes well, hopefully next week we’ll make an announcement.”