Valley Preps

Harris County receiving plenty of interest in football coaching vacancy

David Mitchell

Harris County has already received substantial interest in its football head coaching vacancy, which opened when former coach Dwight Jones was confirmed as the new Russell County coach on Tuesday.

In barely more than a day since listing the position, Harris County principal Todd Stanfill said he has already received 11 applications personally, which doesn’t count any that have been submitted through the online system.

Of those who have applied, he said many are individuals with strong coaching backgrounds.

“The challenge won’t be to find a talented football coach,” he said. “The challenge is going to be finding the person who best fits our school and our kids. Getting football people — we’ve already seen a lot of good football coaches.”

Applications will be accepted for the position through next Thursday, at which point the school will select its candidates and begin the interviewing process. The plan is to have someone to present to the board during the March meeting.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a problem with that,” Stanfill said. “We’ve already had some great candidates apply.”

Stanfill, who just took over as principal of the school in January, said he was surprised to have this task so soon in his tenure at the school — Jones had only been at the school for two years — but that he knew Jones was making the decision for all the right reasons.

“He wants to put his family and himself in a good position as he moves closer to retirement,” Stanfill said. “We understand that, and wish him luck.”

While the school searches for a new head coach, Zach Howard, the team’s defensive coordinator, will be overseeing a lot of the weight room duties, according to Stanfill. The rest of the football staff who are not involved in a spring sports will share the load, as well.

Jones accepted the position at Russell County after putting together an 11-11 record in two years with the Tigers. Harris County went 9-3 with a berth in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs in 2014, but struggled to a 2-8 record in 2015 after losing a lot of its production to graduation.