Ranager leaves Tallulah High,gets out of coaching for now

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 24, 2001

[9/24/01]Clay Ranager wasn’t sure what to do Friday night.

He did, however, know what to do when an old friend called with a job offer he accepted.

Ranager, headed into the fourth game of his 11th season as Tallulah High, resigned Friday to go into business with an old friend.

“That was the first Friday I was not around football since I was 12 or 13,” said Ranager, who played at Brandon High, then at Millsaps for his father, Tommy Ranager. “It was different … I’ve been around football all of my life.”

Principal Gloria Watson made assistant Anthony Goods interim coach. The Trojans lost to Ouachita Christian, 41-20, in his debut.

Clay Ranager said he regretted the timing of his decision, but he had an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“Six games down the road, I may not have had the opportunity,” he said Sunday. “I got a chance to make a lot more money … I needed to do something to provide for my family more. You have to put your priorities in line.”

Ranager lives in Vicksburg with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. All he would say about his new job is that it’s a new manufacturing company in Jackson.

He’s not sure if he’ll continue to live in Vicksburg.

“I’m really excited about this chance and what I’ll be doing (today),” he said.

The Trojans made it to the playoffs in nine of Ranager’s 10 years at the helm. He was 50-36.

“I had been talking to my principal … and assistant coaches about it since June,” Ranager said.

Watson was out of town this morning and unavailable for comment.

Telling the players was “really, really difficult,” he said.

Ranager insisted there were no bad feelings that led to his decision.

“I have nothing against anyone there,” he said, adding that he worked for four principals and four superintendents during his stint.

He wouldn’t rule out the possibility of making a return to the sideline.

“I love coaching and I hope to return one day,” he said. “But right now, I have to do something different. I’m having to look to the future.”

He’s already discovered one tough adjustment relaxing on the weekend.

“Usually, that’s the most intense part of your week,” he said.