Calcote wants to build West Lincoln football

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chris Calcote knows what it takes to be a successful footballcoach and athletic director. He hopes that wisdom can helpresurrect the West Lincoln Bears from annual doormats to titlecontenders.

Calcote, 56, was officially named West Lincoln’s new headfootball coach at a Monday night meeting of the Lincoln Countyschool board. He is the seventh head coach in the 10-year-oldprogram.

“I’m excited about coming out here,” said Calcote, a FranklinCounty native. Upon his retirement from the position of athleticdirector at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Calcote had a45-day waiting period before he could begin coaching again.

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He inherits an 0-11 team and a 15-game losing streak from BrooksBurns who coached the Bears for four years. Burns compiled a 2-41record before resigning last spring.

“Calcote is confident West Lincoln can be successful on thegridiron. “They are going to win. It’s just a matter of time.”

The Bears jumped directly into varsity competition when formerprincipal Perry Miller elected to start a football program in 1998.In 10 years, the Bears have won 7 games against varsity competitionand 2 against junior varsity teams.

“West Lincoln isn’t loaded with talent right now but they willbe,” Calcote predicted. “I can’t wait to get started.

“We want to play the spoiler this year and see if we can cause aruckus.”

Longtime assistant football coach Luke Addison and baseballcoach Steve Barrington will serve on Calcote’s football staff. Healso will have Jeff King on staff as a volunteer coach.

West Lincoln principal Jason Case said he was happy to haveCalcote on his staff. “Coach Calcote has a lot of history withfootball and he has been successful. I think the players will likehim and play hard for him. We are excited to have him with us.”

A 1969 Franklin County graduate, Calcote first signed ascholarship with Southeastern Louisiana University. He transferredto Co-Lin in the spring of 1970. He played football and baseballfor the Wolves.

At Co-Lin, Calcote was an offensive guard for Coach MalcolmNesmith in 1970 when the Wolves went 7-1-2, including an upsetvictory over then No. 1-ranked Pearl River. He played third base onthe baseball team.

Calcote transferred to Delta State University and played twoyears for Horace McCool. Robert McGraw was his offensive linecoach.

Calcote has a degree in secondary education, with a Master’s inphysical education.

After Delta State, Calcote went to North Natchez for 3 years andserved on the staff of Coach Tom Williams. Among the stars hehelped coach were All-American and All-Pro defensive end Hugh Greenand running back Danny Knight.

Leaving Natchez, Calcote went to Laurel as offensive line coachand head baseball coach. For a short period, he got out of coachingand worked in the oil field business. He went to South Jones for 1year and then to Stone County 4 years, the first 2 as an assistantcoach.

Calcote coached at South Natchez for 1 year. In 1989, when Northand South Natchez consolidated, he was elevated to head coach atNatchez and served four years.

His coaching career took him to Mississippi Gulf Coast CommunityCollege as offensive line coach for four years. He became golfcoach and athletic director in 1996.

He spent 16 years as AD at Gulf Coast. He was NJCAA regionaldirector and national chairman for baseball the last fouryears.

Calcote and his wife, Joyce Arnold of Smithdale, have two sons,Brad and Brent. Brad coaches baseball and football at Stone County.Brent is the new head baseball coach at Franklin County and coachesfootball, too.

Asked about his approach to coaching, Calcote said, “I like todo the little things right. The whole game is important. Techniqueis very important. You have to take advantage of what the otherteam gives you.”

According to Calcote, one of his main priorities will be gettingthe Bears in top physical condition before the season gets underway. He already has launched a running and agility program. “Ithurts not having them for spring practice.

Also, Calcote said he will be deeply involved with the juniorhigh team. “I want to build some stability and build a junior highprogram,” said Calcote.