Board should find ideal candidate for Greenville coach

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2006

On Thursday Greenville High Principal Dr. Kathy Murphy is expected to make a recommendation to the Butler County Board of Education for the hiring of a new head football coach and athletic director to replace interim coach Mike Williams, who took the helm of the Tigers after former head coach Alvin Briggs resigned five weeks before the start of the 2005 season.

The board's decision to hire a new head football coach for Greenville High will mark the fourth such decision in the past six years.

That's a switch from years past when coaches would stay five years or longer at Greenville High and give the program the continuity it so desperately needs. But the times have changed.

There doesn't seem to be coaches like former Tigers' coach Gene Allen who spent nine seasons at Greenville before moving on.

In his nine seasons at Greenville, Allen led the Tigers to the state finals twice and to a state championship in 1994, in the process instilling pride in the school and its student athletes. Since Allen's departure, Greenville has suffered through hard times with less than successful seasons, going 2-17 the last two years.

In his brief tenure with Greenville High, Williams seems to have things going in the right direction, especially when it comes to establishing a conditioning program, which was basically non-existent before his arrival.

Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney said the Greenville football program needs stability. We couldn't agree more.

The football program not only needs stability, but it needs some consistency. The ideal football coach for Greenville's program is someone who will stay at least five seasons to revitalize a program that once was considered one of the better Class 5A programs in the state.

Having a successful football program also breeds community spirit, which equates to stronger booster programs who contribute more to the program. It also succeeds in packing the stands on Friday nights generating more revenue for the school system and its programs.

But the head coach cannot do it by himself.

Greenville can achieve the success it had in the late 80s and early 90s if the community, the board of education, the high school staff and administration, and the parents of the players unite to support this program.

We encourage the board of education and superintendent to make the investment in searching for the best candidate who fits the needs of this community and, more importantly, someone who will be vested in the job. There's more riding on the board's decision than getting someone who knows the x's and o's.