PDT Sports Writer
The Waverly football program could be under new leadership when the first day of 2013 training camp arrives.
The Pike County News Watchman reported Tuesday the Waverly City Schools Board of Education met in its Jan. 9 meeting and decided to non-renew the contracts of its football coaching staff, including head coach Rusty Wright. The report mentioned concerns over declining participation in the program.
“We are going to review our football program from junior high up and see if any changes need to be made,” Waverly City Schools superintendent Cheryl Francis said.
Supplemental contracts such as coaching positions run on a year-by-year basis. The internal inquiry for the position was posted in accordance to law and the job became available to outside candidates at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
A committee has been created to review all interests before starting the interview process. Wright and his assistants can apply according to Francis and school board president Josh Hobbs.
“We just want to have the chance to look at the program,” Francis said. “The numbers have dropped off over the last few years.
“Are we doing what we need to do in the best interest for our students to keep them interested in playing football? We want to do the best we can for the program and the kids.”
The Waverly football program has not had a winning season since 2007 when the Tigers finished 9-1 in the regular season and were ousted in the Division IV, Region 15 Semifinals by Westfall. In the five seasons since, Waverly has a combined record of 13-37, which includes an 0-10 mark in 2010.
But Francis said the decision isn’t about wins and losses.
“We just want to see where we want the program to go,” Francis said. “With the dropping numbers, we just want to see if anything needs to change.”
Hobbs reiterated Francis’ comments.
“Rusty’s heart is in the right place and he certainly has the ability to reapply for the job,” Hobbs said. “…We just need to know why we aren’t getting the participation.
“We want to find out what we need to do to correct it. In my opinion, we need to employ more tools to make our program competitive.”
Currently, Chris Crabtree — who was on Wright’s staff — is operating the strength and conditioning program. Hobbs is glad to see some continuity during the search.
The committee could recommend the start of the search process could be as early as next week according to the report.
“It is a tough situation,” Hobbs said. “The concern has been growing the last few years, but we’ve held out, hoping it would correct itself. We need to figure it out and fix it.”
Information provided by the Pike County News Watchman was used in this report.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or email@example.com.