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Meadowview Christian hires new football coach

When spring training kicks off for Meadowview Christian school on May 11, the Trojans will welcome their new head football coach, Kenneth Strong.

Strong comes to Meadowview from Deer Creek School in Arcola, Miss., where he led Deer Creek to three consecutive winning seasons for only the second time in their history.

“I am extremely anxious and really looking forward to being at Meadowview,” Strong said. “I am very impressed with their history and tradition and the caliber of athletes they have in that area.”

Strong replaces Rick Jackson as coach and comes with the ability to coach multiple teams in multiple sports. Jackson resigned earlier this year. He continues to coach the baseball team this spring.

“The first reason we chose (Strong) was because he is a Christian,” said headmaster Dr. Michael Gaylor. “The second reason was because of his records; he is successful and not just in football but basketball, track and baseball.”

Strong has coached for 14 years and has a reputation for turning programs around, Gaylor said.

Strider Academy in Charleston, Miss., was 5-5 the year before Strong began coaching there in 2003 and the next year they improved to 12-1. Manchester Academy in Yazoo City, Miss., also saw similar improvements after hiring Strong when their team went from 6-5 to 11-3, in a year Gaylor said.

Strong’s overall coaching records are 72-37 as a football coach, 48-22 in baseball and 175-55 in girls’ and boys’ basketball combined.

Meadowview Christian finished the 2008 season with a record of 5-5 and Strong’s goals are for that to improve.

“My goal is to bring the Trojan tradition back to full glory,” Strong said, “to once again be the team that people see on their schedule and don’t want to have to play.”

Winning games on the field is not Strong’s only job requirement, Gaylor said, he will also provide discipline, help with the facilities and be a role model. Strong will teach in the computer lab and instruct physical education, Gaylor said.

Strong has already met with the players and given them some reading material, Gaylor said, like plays, workout schedules and guidelines for their behavior.

“We expect players to address off-field issues first and be the best they can be,” Strong said.

The 2009 football season will not be the first time Strong has coached in Alabama. He was an assistant coach at Tuscaloosa Academy for two years, beginning in 1995.

The passion for football in Alabama was one reason he returned.

“Without degrading football in Mississippi, it’s not as passionate and year-round as football in Alabama,” Strong said. “I wanted to get back to coaching where it really means something.”

Strong’s desire to coach at Meadowview was based on their tradition of character as well as football, he said.

“We like to think we’re a family and we think he will fit into the family,” Gaylor said.