School officials had hoped to approve the hiring of a new football coach for Richmond Hill High School at Thursday night’s Bryan County Board of Education meeting.
Those plans changed suddenly when the football search committee’s choice for the job had to back out at the last minute Wednesday night due to what were called serious family health issues.
His name was not released to protect his family’s privacy, and the BoE is now hoping to get a coach on board by the BoE’s April meeting, if not sooner.
“I think it’s pretty urgent,” said BoE Chairman Eddie Warren. “We need to keep the ball rolling, just due to the time sensitivity of it. But we still want to make sure we get the right person for the job.”
The school is trying to find a replacement for former coach Lyman Guy, who led the Wildcats to the state playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time in the program’s history.
Guy left to go to Toombs County High School and sparked a conversation about additional money paid to coaches, called supplements.
Bryan County’s coaching supplements lag behind those paid in other districts, leading the BoE to recently agree to higher additional pay to coaches and others, such as band directors.
The additional money for coaches, which has yet to be approved, isn’t the only investment the BoE is making in athletics. The system is expected to spend more than $400,000 to upgrade football and practice fields at RHHS, which has moved home games for spring sports such as soccer to Henderson Park.
Richmond Hill High School athletic director Mickey Bayens said the school will look to rebound from the setback in its search for a new football coach.
“We’re going to have someone in place as quickly as possible, for the kids’ sake and the community’s sake,” he said. “It’s been a challenge, but we’re getting the fields together and the final piece of this puzzle is getting a coach.”
Bayens said he hopes to have a new coach ready for BoE approval by the board’s April meeting, if not sooner.