Breland approved as Gators’ coach

Published 9:30 am Friday, July 21, 2017

After two months of waiting, Lorenzo Breland finally is the head football coach at Vicksburg High School.

Breland’s hire was approved by the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees at its monthly meeting Thursday, two months after he had taken over the program on an interim basis following the resignation of Marcus Rogers.

“It’s been a lot of distractions this whole spring and summer, so to be able to get it approved and leave all of that in the past is good,” Breland said. “A lot of the time kids are going to be kids and hear things. So it caused a little uncertainty. But like I told the kids, we just have to stay focused and keep working.”

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Rogers resigned in April and Breland was recommended by a search committee as his successor in early May.

Breland led the team through spring practice and has continued in the role during summer workouts. Before the interim tag was removed, however, he had to wait for a vote of approval from the board that was slow in coming. His hire was not formally put up for a vote in May or June, so this was his last chance at approval before the start of the school year.

VWSD athletic director Preston Nailor said the delay was caused by the hire of a new principal at VHS and some paperwork issues.

Breland was approved by a 4-1 vote, with board member Joe Loviza dissenting. Loviza said he voted against Breland because he had issues with how the search was handled, not because of Breland’s qualifications.

“There was a better qualified person that applied for the job and he didn’t get it,” Loviza said. “It has nothing to do with the man. I have nothing against (Breland). I don’t even know him. But the process of how they chose the coach, I objected to that.”

Breland said he had faith that everything would be resolved before the season. The Gators start preseason practice July 31, and the season on Aug. 18 in the Red Carpet Bowl against Oxford.

Nailor also expressed relief that the program could move forward.

“The ship now can sail,” Nailor said. “Everybody doesn’t have to sit on eggshells. Everybody knows what’s going on and everybody feels comfortable with moving in the proper direction. So I’m looking for everything to move forward and continue to sail higher.”

Vicksburg Post reporter Brandon O’Connor contributed to this report.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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