Morgan making WC staff changes

Published 12:03 pm Thursday, November 11, 2010

For the first time in decades, Warren Central’s coaching staff could be headed for a major shakeup.

An advertisement seeking applications for all of the program’s assistant coaching positions was posted Wednesday on the websites of both the Vicksburg Warren School District and the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

Warren Central principal Rodney Smith said the job ad was an effort to both attract talented coaches and allow head coach Josh Morgan to handpick his coaching staff. When Morgan was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach in April, most of the assistants at the time stayed with the program.

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“In sports, there’s always staffing changes. We’re going to give Josh a chance to be successful and give him a coaching staff of his choosing,” Smith said. “If he feels the ones he has are the ones he wants and he can win with them, then more power to him.”

Neither Morgan nor Smith would specify which, if any, of the 10 assistant coaches would be retained. Morgan did say, however, that “there will definitely be some asked back.”

Likewise, Smith said he wasn’t dissatisfied with all of the assistant coaches’ performances despite his decision to advertise for their jobs.

“We’ve got some great football coaches out there. Coach Morgan probably has one of the best football minds I’ve ever been around. He knows football and can coach it, and has a great rapport with the kids,” Smith said. “I’m just looking for ways to help him be successful.”

Any wholesale changes would be a major course shift for a program that boasts stability as one of its trademarks. Morgan is just the fourth head coach at the school since 1971, and most of the current assistants played for the Vikings when they were in high school. Two assistants, Robert Morgan and Larry Tyrone, have been at the school for more than 30 years.

A recent slump on the field might have altered that philosophy. Warren Central posted a 2-9 record this season — its worst since the 1972 team went 3-5-2. It has had just one winning record in the past six seasons, and only made the playoffs once since 2006.

“When it’s 2-9 and 3-11 in the junior high program, it’s looking for a change,” Josh Morgan said.

Morgan said he told the assistant coaches of Smith’s decision on Tuesday, and called it a tough conversation. He played under the elder Morgan and Tyrone, and was either a teammate or just a few classes ahead of or behind others.

Still, he said, it’s a move that’s in the best interests of the program.

“It’s something that’s whatever’s best for the program and the best for this football team has to be done. That’s the bottom line,” Josh Morgan said.