Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 20, 2005




By Kevin Taylor

After losing 13 straight games, McKenzie now is heading in a different direction.

David Kirkland resigned Tuesday morning as head football coach and athletic director, said McKenzie School Principal Randy Williams.

McKenzie has not won a football game since topping Flomaton in the first game of the Tigers' 2004 season.

"I resigned to give the football team a fresh start with hopes that they can win with a new coach," Kirkland said.

Williams said that junior varsity head coach Timothy Moorer will be the interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Williams said that he will assume the responsibilities as the athletic director.

"I wasn't expecting this," Williams said. "I talked to (Kirkland) and asked him if he had given his decision a lot of thought and if he felt that was what he needed to do."

Williams said that he knew Kirkland was "under a lot of pressure" after losing 13 straight games, but said that he had not talked to anyone about Kirkland's future as football coach.

McKenzie Quarterback Club President Tommy Bush said that "he saw the writing on the wall" in regards to Kirkland's resignation.

"I wish him well; he came into a tough situation," said Bush, who also has a son on the football team.

Bush said some community members thought that McKenzie could find a better football coach at this stage of the season.

"There were a lot of folks who thought that," Bush said. "But with no seniors and just three juniors, it's hard to win at the varsity level."

But peers like Georgiana coach Greg Ennis doesn't see this move as a positive one for the McKenzie football program.

"I think it's a sad day when a coach of the moral character of David (Kirkland) ends up in a situation like this," the Panthers' coach said. "I think (he) is a fine person and a good coach."

Moorer seemed to be the obvious choice to take over as interim coach given that his junior varsity team now stands 2-0.

"We have had success on the (junior varsity) circuit," Williams said. "When we play teams on our level, we do well. Š (Moorer) will step in and do that best job he can."

With just 19 players on the team so far, Bush believes the turnover at head coach will attract more boys to come out and play.

"I think he'll get more kids out there that haven't been out there," Bush said.

Williams said he will make a recommendation to the Butler County Board of Education at its next meeting to accept Kirland's resignation as head football coach and athletic director. Williams said that he will also recommend that Kirkland stay on as a physical education teacher until the end of the school year.