Henderson picked to lead BHS football

Published 6:00 pm Friday, May 13, 2011

Wade Henderson is looking forward to making his home inBrookhaven. He was officially approved as the new head footballcoach and athletic director at BHS during a Thursday afternoonmeeting of the Brookhaven Public Schools Board of Trustees andSuperintendent of Education Dr. Lisa Karmacharya.

He replaces Tucker Peavey who stepped down in late February afternine years at the helm. Peavey’s replacement, Ryan Ross, wasoffensive coordinator at BHS in 2010 and elevated to the top job.However, Ross opted for the head job at Class 6A Ocean Springs lessthan three weeks later.

The original plan, spawned by former superintendent Lea Barrett,was for Peavey to remain as AD and assume additional duties asDirector of Maintenance for the Brookhaven school system.Karmacharya and the board changed the game plan. In an effort tomake the position more attractive when advertising on theMississippi Association of Coaches web page, the AD and headfootball coach position was offered as a package deal.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Henderson, 44, is an 18-year coaching veteran with experience onthe high school and community college level. He has coached aHolmes Community College for the last four years as a linebackerand running backs coach.

“It’s an honor to be athletic director and head football coach atBrookhaven,” said Henderson. “I have a 5-year-old little boy(Magnum) and he’s going to be growing up in a goodcommunity.”

He said he had no plans to overhaul the staff of varsity assistantcoaches. “I have met briefly with the staff,” said Henderson. “Theyhave been very successful.

“I’m going to hire one coach. I’m looking for an offensivecoordinator. I will see if anyone on staff wants to be theoffensive coordinator.”

Although he missed the opportunity to direct the Panthers throughspring practice, Henderson said he would continue the demandingoffseason weightlifting and conditioning program, starting inJune.

“The kids already know the system,” said Henderson. “I think KelbyBowman does a good job as defensive coordinator. The least changethe better the first year.”

Peavey directed the Panthers to the Class 5A state championshipgame last December after finishing fourth in the Region 5-5A race.The Panthers authored three straight upset wins over Long Beach,Wayne County and West Jones before falling to West Point in thestate title game and finishing 9-5. Peavey’s 2004 squad capturedthe Class 4A state title.

Twenty-six seniors are graduating off the 2010 squad.

“Brookhaven has been very successful the last nine years withTucker there,” said Henderson. “I know they are graduating a bunchof good players. It will be a rebuilding season but I’m sure theprogram will replenish itself.”

Henderson was recruiting coordinator at Holmes Community College.Served on Coach Danny Robertson’s staff the last four years. Holmeswent winless in nine games in 2010.

Henderson, an Ackerman native, was an All-State offensive linemanfor the Bulldogs in the 1980s. After leaving Holmes, Hendersonplayed football at Southern Arkansas University and MillsapsCollege. After college, he played two seasons of minor leagueprofessional football in Gadsden, Ala., for the AlabamaRaiders.

He has coached for 18 years, with 15 years in high schools inMississippi and Alabama. He was head coach at Loyd Star, and servedas defensive coordinator at Ocean Springs, Petal, Florence,Richland. He also was an assistant at Columbus, Northwest Rankinand Sylacauga, Ala.

In 2004, Henderson coached the Hornets to a 3-7 worksheet. He leftLoyd Star after the first semester. Before moving to Holmes, heserved as the defensive coordinator at Richland High School.

Henderson holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from MississippiState University. He also attended Millsaps College and SouthernArkansas University.