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Coaching merry-go-round

Brandon Wilcox hired at EA; Mike Sims heading to Excel


News Staff Writer

A merry-go-round of coaching changes has filled coaching vacancies at three area schools — Escambia Academy, W.S. Neal High and Excel High.
On the same day former EA headmaster, football coach and athletic director Hugh Fountain was hired as head coach and AD at W.S. Neal High, his heir-apparent, Mike Sims, rejected an offer to fill Fountain’s cleats and accepted a job as defensive coordinator and head softball coach at AHSAA Class 3A Excel High.
A day later (Tuesday, June 14), EA officials announced on the school’s Facebook page that former WSN coach Brandon Wilcox, whose job Fountain was hired to fill, will fill the vacancy created by Fountain’s career change.
The post reads:
“Escambia Academy is proud to introduce Brandon Wilcox as head football coach and AD for the Cougars. We look forward to each member of the EA family getting to know Coach Wilcox and are excited about the future. Coach Wilcox will meet with the team at workouts today at 4 PM.”
Wilcox said the Cougars would implement a fast-paced game plan under his leadership.
“I’m extremely excited and can’t wait to get started at Escambia Academy,” he wrote. “I’m a big believer that God opens doors for us where He wants us, and I have no doubt this opportunity has been paved by Him.
“Our brand of football will play at a high tempo, with exceptional effort, and with exceptional physicality. We will utilize our speed, quickness, and explosive athleticism. On and off the field, our program will resonate an attitude of positive energy, passion and intensity.
“It is a great day to be an EA Cougar.”
Escambia Academy officials knew when the week started that they needed a new headmaster after Fountain’s recent resignation. But they thought they had the athletics part nailed down.
Sims — an assistant under Fountain for the past four years — reportedly made a non-binding “verbal commitment” to fill the head coach-athletic director vacancies left by the resignation of his boss.
The former EA assistant apparently changed his mind, deciding instead to accept an assistant coaching job at Excel.
Jason Phillips, head football coach at Excel High School, posted Monday on his personal Facebook page that Sims had accepted a job as defensive coordinator and head softball coach at the AHSAA Class 3A school.
A message posted Monday, June 13, on EA’s Facebook page indicated that Sims had decided to leave the school. The message reads as follows:
“We regret to inform our Escambia Academy family that Coach Sims has declined our offer as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach. We wish Coach Sims the best in his future endeavors.
“The EA Board of Directors is actively seeking a replacement AD and Head Football Coach. Workouts will be moved to 4:00 in the afternoon. This week there will only be afternoon workouts.
“Any questions or concerns can be emailed to HR@eacougar.com.”
Attempts to reach Sims for comment by Tuesday’s press deadline were unsuccessful.