Pair of coaches shows to fill airwaves

Published 9:55 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The landscape of radio for local high school football fans reaches a new stage this season when listeners will, for the first time, have a pair of options for the Tuesday Night Coaches Show.

The program, which found its roots in a radio show that aired on Demopolis Saturday mornings, was resurrected two years ago by WIN 98. The past two seasons, the show has been hosted by Rob Pearson, Sean Parker and Jonathan Jenkins. That trio has since taken its act to Fox Sports 104.9.

This year, WIN 98’s program will feature Jimbo Ward and former Monroe County head coach Steve Allen.

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“This is WIN 98’s third year to have the Coaches Show. It has been super. It was a huge seller as far as advertising. It had great participation from all the area coaches,” Ward said of the format that allows listeners to gain insight into the workings of their favorite local high school football teams. “All the area coaches are very excited (about Steve Allen hosting). He was the offensive coordinator for Greenville in 1996 when they won the state championship. He has been a head coach at Greenville High and later on in Monroe County.”

Ward believes Allen will bring balance to the show.

“I was excited about it because he has the knowledge,” Ward said. “He is really going to know the ins and outs of what to ask to really interest the fans.”

Ward said the WIN 98 program will also have a new weekly feature.

“We’re going to have a new little segment I believe the listeners are going to be excited about,” Ward said.

Ward and Allen will host the weekly show on Tuesday nights and rotate between the J&K Restaurants in Linden, Butler and Toxey.

“They are family-oriented restaurants and we invite the coaches out and all their families and anyone else who wants to come out and listen to the show. It is going to be a great family atmosphere.”

Pearson, Parker and Jenkins will utilize Batter Up in Demopolis and Austin Steakhouse in Livingston as the backdrop of their program. Just like its WIN 98 counterpart, the Fox Sports-based show will air on Tuesday nights.

“We are expanding the Coaches Show this year to include a little bit of college,” Parker said. Fox Sports 104.9 landed the broadcast rights of both Demopolis High School and the University of West Alabama. As such, the Tuesday Night Coaches Show will feature those two schools weekly.

“Fox Sports 104.9 is the home of UWA Tiger and Demopolis Tiger athletics,” Parker said. “We will have (Demopolis High School head coach) Tom Causey and (UWA head coach) Bobby Wallace every week.”

Parker said he and Pearson have developed with the format over the previous two years.

“I think over the last two years of doing the show, we’ve developed a rapport with the coaches and learned a lot about their programs and their kids,” Parker said.

Parker is also excited about the return of the third member of the program’s broadcast team, Jenkins.

“It helps us a lot to have Jonathan Jenkins, an Alabama High School coach himself,” Parker said, “who has a lot of insight into what is going on with the coaches and their teams.”

Both programs also figure to lend attention to some East Mississippi high schools as Fox Sports broadcasts off a metro-Meridian signal and WIN 98 will offer Web streaming for Russell Christian Academy and Southeast Lauderdale.

While the shows will broadcast simultaneously and compete for ears of the same target audience, each seems to do so with similar attentions as both Ward and Parker emphasized the importance of giving attention to local football programs.

Ward and Allen will begin their season run Tuesday, Aug. 19 from Butler and will air from 7-8:30 p.m. each week.

Pearson, Parker and Jenkins will begin their season the same night at Batter Up in Demopolis and will air from 7-9 p.m. weekly.