Who’s the coach?

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer break is nearly over and that means football season is around the corner. Every team is 0-0 going into the 2018 season, but the first game of the season inches closer with each passing week.

As the start of the school year approaches, I am concerned about the future of the Dallas County High School and Keith High School football programs.

Neither football program has had a new head football coach approved by the Dallas County School Board to lead the team in an official capacity for the upcoming school year.

Email newsletter signup

Former Dallas County Hornets head football coach Cliff Matthews didn’t have his contract renewed after just one season with the team, and 17-year veteran head football coach Harry Crum was voted out of his position (two-yes, one-no and two abstained) at the last Dallas County School Board meeting on June 12.

Selecting a new head coach can be a difficult process. Available candidates need to be qualified, thoroughly vetted, a positive role model for the students and that all has to be considered before he or she can be recommended to the superintendent.

Since the athletic director and school principal don’t have direct hiring authority over their football programs, the position still has to wait for a school board vote to be approved.

Waiting for this process, especially considering that another Dallas County School Board meeting has yet to be scheduled, puts the football program and the student-athletes at a disadvantage before they can even try their helmets on.

Last season, Matthews was hired to be the Hornets head coach a month before the season started and the team finished the season 3-7.

The Hornets have had seven coaches already in the past 10 years and are 32-78 with two playoff appearances.

Turnovers aren’t good in football on the field, nor in the coaching staffs.

At Keith, Crum made the playoffs in nine of his past 10 seasons. The program graduated 22 seniors this past season, and will be rebuilding while moving into a tough Class 1A Region 3.

Whichever coach is officially chosen to lead these programs into the future already has an uphill battle facing them. The issues facing the teams will only compound the longer they go without having a head coach at the helm.

Dallas County also needs to name a new principal and volleyball coach after the departure of Willie and Linda Moore earlier this summer.

The School Board needs to setup their next meeting as soon as possible because they are putting the student-athletes at a disadvantage, and setting up the new coaches to fail before they can begin.

Thomas Scott is the sports reporter for The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at thomas.scott@selmatimesjournal.com.