There was no shortage of candidates seeking to fill the head football coach-athletic director vacancy at Escambia County High School.
ECHS Principal Dennis Fuqua confirmed this week that a nationwide search for a new coach and AD has netted more than five dozen candidates from several states, including at least one who is currently employed by the county school system. He said he’s happy with the response.
“We had 64 people apply,” he said. “We had one applicant from as far away as Ohio and we had one from down in South Florida, as far as the ends of the spectrum. Most of the applicants were from Alabama and Georgia, and we had at least one from within the school system. I feel good that we had that many.”
A six-member committee, of which Fuqua is a part, has sifted through the applications and selected the 10 individuals deemed the best fit for the ECHS job.
Interviews with those 10 will begin this week.
“We’ve got some good applicants, and we’ve whittled it down to 10,” the ECHS principal said. “The committee has met one time already. We’ll start interviewing the first group this Wednesday (February 8); we’ll interview another group this Friday, and we’ll interview the final group next Friday (Feb. 17).”
He pointed out that he is hoping to land a coach who will be “a motivator who leads by example, who is very community-oriented and a winner.”
Fuqua added that he hoped the committee, and the county school board, could come to a decision in time to bring the new coach on board by March 1.
“I hope that this decision will be made final by the school board at its February meeting, and that the new coach can start on March 1,” he said.
The February BOE meeting is set for 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at W.S. Neal Elementary School.
Royce Young, the school’s head football coach and athletic director for the past three years, resigned in January after being informed that he would not be rehired.
Fuqua said he had no doubts that Young would willingly participate in the transition process.
“I’m sure Coach Young will be willing to do whatever he’s asked,” he said.