• 55°

Clopton introduced as Brook’s AD, football coach

Tommy Clopton was officially introduced as the new head football coach and athletic director at Brookhaven High School Monday morning during a news conference. Brookhaven Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lisa Karmacharya introduced Clopton to the media.

     “It is my honor to introduce Tommy Clopton,” said Karmacharya. “He has a winning record and a winning attitude.”

     Clopton, 38, replaces Wade Henderson who resigned after one year at the helm. Clopton coached the Wesson Cobras the last eight years.

     “My family and I are excited to be part of the Panther family,” said Clopton. “Brookhaven has been known for excellence in athletics and academics.”

     Clopton met with the BHS football players yesterday afternoon. He plans to begin spring practice April  23. He said the Panthers would practice for three weeks and they might participate in a jamboree at Florence.

     Several positions on the football staff must be filled. Clopton said he was excited about a potential offensive coordinator. “We hope to get him on board this week.:”

     Wesson’s football teams have relied mainly on the veer offense, a run-oriented attack, under Clopton’s guidance.  He said he was open to change, depending on the personnel.

     “I know Brookhaven has a tradition of spreading the field (on offense) and putting the best athletes out there,” said Clopton.

     Clopton’s Wesson teams were recognized for strong, aggressive, hard-hitting defense. He prefers a 4-4 alignment.

     He said he hoped to keep current BHS defensive coordinator Kelby Bowman on staff. “Kelby was the first person I contacted when this transition took place. He’s an outstanding coach and person.”

     Bowman had revealed his plans to move to Madison Central as a linebacker coach. He had worked with MC head coach Bobby Hall for two weeks during spring practice.

     Last season the Panthers finished 7-5. They advanced to the Class 5A state playoffs. They were state runners-up to West Point in 2010, under former head coach Tucker Peavey.

     “We are in an extremely challenging district,” said Clopton. “We want to compete at the highest level. We will be challenged each game.”

     Clopton said he felt confident about Ole Brook’s future. “We are here to win another state championship for Brookhaven. The Class 5A state championship game is Dec. 1.”

     Peavey directed the Panthers to the Class 4A state championship in 2004 and forged a strong program in his nine years at the helm. He was hired to  coach the Southern Miss offensive line in December.

     Clopton coached five years at East Central Community College before returning to Wesson, his alma mater, where he graduated in 1992. He has had the Cobras in the Class 2A state playoffs seven straight years.

     He serves as a District 7 representative on the MHSAA Legislative council. He is a Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Southern Miss graduate. He obtained his Master of Education degree from USM in 1998.

     Clopton is married to the former April Hegwood of Taylorsville. They have two children: Micah, 17, and Trace, 12. They are members of Wesson Baptist Church.

     Mrs. Clopton will teach science at BHS. She was a teacher and cheerleader sponsor at Wesson.