Football coaches merry-go-round in Division 6-4A

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2001

Can’t identify the players without a program?

In Division 6-4A you won’t be able to tell the head footballcoaches without a program. Certainly, there have been major changessince the close of the 2000 campaign.

Can’t identify the players without a program?

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In Division 6-4A you won’t be able to tell the head footballcoaches without a program. Certainly, there have been major changessince the close of the 2000 campaign.

Starting at the top, Lee Bramlett coached theMcComb Tigers to a 13-1 record and the Class 4A state championship.His retirement left a huge void in McComb athletics. Defensivecoordinator Ted Milton has been promoted to thehead job and girls basketball coach CarolynWhitehead has taken over many of the athletic directorduties.

At Brookhaven, head football coach and athletic directorGreg Wall resigned in January. Wall retired after leadingthe Panthers to a runners-up position in the division race and aberth in the state playoffs.

Lo and behold, Wall’s close ties to South Pike made himthe top choice to replace Eagle boss Clarence Morgan who retired inDecember. Morgan and Wall had coached together at South Pike fornearly 25 years. When Wall left for Brookhaven five years ago,Morgan replaced him at the South Pike helm.

Wall’s wife, Betsy, is a history teacher at South Pike and theymaintain a home just across the street from the South Pike campus.Their son, Brinson, is a junior high coach at South Pike.

Another shocker was the resignation of DannyAdams at Lawrence County last week. Adams publiclyannounced his intentions to pursue another place of employment,probably in Florida.

Adams coached the Cougars for three successful seasons, going30-6-0. They won their first-ever state championship in 1999, going14-0. They made two state playoff appearances and had three winningrecords.

Adams admits he has nomadic blood. His applications at severalschools in the Magnolia State the last three years didn’t gounnoticed.

According to Lawrence County athletic director TonyDavis, applications for the head football job will beaccepted through March 7.

At last count, head coaches at Terry, Raymond, Port Gibson andCrystal Springs are returning. Crystal Springs is dropping down toClass 3A for the next two school years. Raymond and Port Gibson arenewcomers to Division 6-4A. Port Gibson was a member three yearsago but spent the last two seasons in Class 3A.

According to Brookhaven Superintendent of Education Dr. SamBounds, interest is high for the position of head footballcoach and athletic director at BHS. Applications from across theMagnolia State will be accepted until March 19.

Bounds said he will interview the top five candidatesfor the job and make a recommendation to the school board in earlyApril. “I’m looking for a qualified football coach who will oversee13 other sports,” said Bounds.

The combination of AD/head coach makes the salary moreattractive. “We want a person who is committed to showing supportfor each sport in our program,” Bounds pointed out.

Talk to coaches who are in charge of other sportsbesides football and their chief request is “more administrativesupport.” Naturally, each head coach believes his/her team ratespriority.

Football is the main revenue source for most athleticdepartments. Gate receipts usually exceed other sports by largemargins but there are a few exceptions. Some basketball programsattract more fans than football.

Wall’s high level of success at Brookhaven made manyfootball coaches sit up and take notice. Yes, there was reason foroptimism. For many years, Brookhaven had been recognized as agraveyard for successful coaches.

Impressive coaching credentials, including statechampionships, failed to produce the required number of victoriesat Brookhaven. After three or four years, the once-invincible coachwas packing his bags or making a move to enter privatebusiness.

Wall proved that the Panthers could be big-time winners,with the right man at the helm and the right kind of assistantcoaches. He was 35-17 in five years. They posted a 12-1 record inhis second year (1997) at the helm. The Panthers finished 7-3 lastseason.

A spacious, sparkling, 3-year-old field house serves asa solid testament to Brookhaven’s commitment to football and othersports. Hopefully, the right coach will be selected to replaceWall.