Buckler out as FHS coach

Published 12:03 am Thursday, May 26, 2011

Florala head football coach Chris Buckler leads his players out during a game last season. Buckler spent one year at the helm of the Wildcats’ football progam. | Heath Harrison/For the Star-News

Florala will be searching for a new head football coach in the coming days.

The Covington County Board of Education voted to non-renew Chris Buckler’s physical education and football contract for next year at Wednesday’s special-called board meeting.

Buckler finished his first year as the head coach for the Wildcats with a 1-9 record.

“I’m disappointed for one — our players — because the ones that have stuck with our program have really blossomed,” Buckler said in a telephone interview. “When we came here, we promised we were going to build a championship program, and we let everyone know up front the amount of commitment that was going to be needed for that to happen.

“I, and our staff, probably overestimated the drive and determination of wanting to be successful,” he said. “I came from a lot of successful programs. We didn’t do anything different there than what we were trying to do here. We just didn’t have the commitment we needed to be successful.”

When Buckler was hired, he said he’d work to bring the Wildcats back to being a championship team.

Buckler said he was told that his contract was not going to be renewed late Tuesday, by FHS principal Donny Powell and superintendent Terry Holley.

“I thanked Mr. Holley and Mr. Powell (Tuesday) for my time here,” he said. “I guess I’m disappointed with the way it ended, the way we didn’t get a chance to finish the job.

“I told them that it was going to be a 3-to-5-year commitment to get this turned in the direction the way they wanted,” he said. “We just didn’t get it turned fast enough.”

Powell said he didn’t want to comment on the matter, but added that “we decided to go in a different direction.”

The search for a new football coach at FHS will begin soon, county board member Jimmy Prestwood said.

Attempts to reach Holley went unsuccessful.