Greenville coaching decision to be made as early as June 25
Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2007
Just six days after Bryant Vincent submitted his resignation as the Greenville High School athletic director and head football coach, the search to replace the departed coach is taking shape.
Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney said he has personally interviewed several candidates and has been pleased with the response to the job vacancy.
“I've been shocked at the quality of applicants we've had,” Looney said. “I'm excited about our applicants and we have some real good contenders.”
A couple of applicants who Looney said have been impressive so far include former Troy University offensive coordinator Mark Fleetwood and former Spanish Fort High School head coach Barry Gibson.
Fleetwood served as defensive backs coach at Troy from 1991-92 and then again from 1997-2000 before returning for one season to serve as head coach Larry Blakeney's offensive coordinator.
Fleetwood, a former kicker and punter at the University of South Carolina, also served as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach at The Citadel for two seasons.
Gibson also expressed interest in the job shortly after Vincent was named as his replacement at Spanish Fort.
Gibson was relieved of his duties as athletic director and head football coach at Spanish Fort in mid-May after leading the Toros to a 0-10 record in just the first season of varsity football.
Gibson is credited with establishing the athletic program at Spanish Fort in the short two-year existence of the school.
Gibson spent three years at Ardmore High School before his tenure at Spanish Fort.
Several other assistant coaches from high schools around the state have expressed interest in the job and even LSU head coach Les Miles has contacted Looney to recommend a coach.
Whoever the new coach is, he'll also be working with one less coach as running backs coach Chase Smith submitted his resignation Thursday to join Vincent at Spanish Fort.
According to Alabama State Law, the job vacancy must be posted for 14 days before a move can be to hire a new athletic director and head coach.
The job was posted June 11 at 7 a.m.
“We feel like we've narrowed the field quickly and we should have a recommendation for the board as soon as the 14 days are up,” Looney said.
Once Looney and Greenville High School Principal Kathy Murphy have come to a decision following the 14-day period, a special-called meeting will be held for the Board of Education to vote on the new coach.
Looney also said if a candidate is selected by that 14th day, the new coach could be put to work immediately, pending Board approval.
Weston leaving Greenville
Looney confirmed Thursday that Greenville High starting quarterback Casey Weston has withdrawn from school.
When contacted by phone, Murphy said Weston had not yet filed transfer papers, but several sources have said Weston intends to play for the defending Class 6A champion Prattville Lions during the 2007 season.
Messages left at Weston's residence were not returned.
Weston, who transferred from Fort Dale Academy to Greenville High in 2006, was selected as The Greenville Advocate All-County Player of the Year for the 2006 season after leading the Tigers to a 10-3 record.
Weston finished the 2006 season with 1,343 yards passing, 10 touchdowns, seven interceptions and completed 61.8 percent of his passes while also rushing 181 times for 937 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Weston also handled both placekicking and punting duties for the Tigers.
The Greenville Tigers will be in the running for another championship in a new sport in 2007 as Looney has confirmed track and field as a new sport at the high school.
Bryan Marlow will be the head coach for the co-ed track team.
Although the track team will not have a home turf for the 2007 season, plans are underway to begin construction in August on a new track around the existing football practice field behind Greenville High School.