John Essex could name coach tonight

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 26, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Football players for John Essex High School could see a new coach at the helm of their program as soon as this evening, said Marengo County School System Superintendent Luke Hallmark.

Hallmark said the system has been working hard to fill the football coach and athletic director position, previously held by Alphus Shipman, since the former coach&8217;s resignation was tendered on July 13. He said the process has gone well and it looks as if he and John Essex principal Loretta McCoy will have a recommendation for the board during tonight&8217;s regularly scheduled meeting. Hallmark had previously said it might take more time to fill the position, but he said he found they could place the position and still allow the amount of time between a job posting and placement required by the state.

John Essex Principal Loretta McCoy said the school is looking for a new coach who has teaching experience, and she said they hope to find someone that can fill in the physical education spot also vacated by Shipman. She said finding someone who has experience running a football program is obviously also a major factor in the upcoming hire.

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Hallmark said all of the coaches interviewed live within a 60-mile radius of Marengo county and all have held previous head coaching positions. He said after he and McCoy confer about the interviews, which have already been wrapped up, they will make their recommendation.

Hallmark said Shipman resigned from the school in order to take a position at Abbeville High School, which is north of Dothan on the Alabama-Georgia line. McCoy said the position seemed like one that would be hard to pass up because it is a larger school, closer to Shipman&8217;s hometown of Dothan and, from what she understands, his wife was hired by the school as well.

McCoy said Shipman has been acting coach thus far all summer, so a new coach won&8217;t be stepping into situations where athletes haven&8217;t been working out and practicing for the entire duration of the summer.

Players have been at a cross roads for the past two weeks, waiting for a new coach to be hired to fill the position. Once a new coach is found the athletes will have to learn a new system, or the new coach will have to adjust to what Shipman already has in place. Marengo County Superintendent Luke Hallmark said the system has worked to fill the gap left by Shipman as quickly as possible.