Watson to remain at Belgreen
When the 2011-12 school year ended, the Franklin County Board of Education faced the challenge of replacing five coaches between Belgreen and Phil Campbell High Schools.
The board has come close to completing that task, as three new head coaches were officially announced at the June 21 meeting.
“We’ve had a fruit basket turnover at Phil Campbell,” Franklin County Superintendent Gary Williams said. “We’ve got a new head football coach, Jason Hill. He’s been in Shelby County at Chelsea High School. He has something like 14 years of experience and has had a lot of success. I know he’s going to be great.
“We have a new baseball coach there, Jonathan Raper. He’s not teaching at the school. He’ll be the head baseball coach, but he’ll still teach at Phillips.
“We have a new head softball coach, Nina Jackson. Nina and her husband Doug have been helping Coach Riddle. Now that [Riddle] has stepped down she will be the new head coach and her husband will be the volunteer to help her.”
The board was also looking at having to replace Belgreen boy’s head basketball coach Greg Watson, who had announced his intention to resign and accept a post in Tennessee.
“At Belgreen we thought we were going to have an opening but we didn’t,” Williams said. “Coach Watson decided to come back.
“I just know that he spoke with the principal and told him his heart was still at Belgreen. He regretted the action he had taken about deciding to go somewhere else.
“He called back to see about the possibility of him staying. He has a lot of support in that community, and we’re glad to have him back.”
Once Watson had decided to remain at Belgreen in the same capacity, he inquired about how he could retain or regain his position. It was much easier than he likely thought, as it turns out.
“We had yet to accept his resignation,” Williams said. “As a matter of fact, it would have been on the agenda tonight to do because he did it between board meetings.
“We didn’t have to rescind his resignation because we never acted on it. He’s still employed there. He’ll just carry on as normal.”
Three of the five empty positions have now been officially filled, with Coach Watson remaining at Belgreen.
The only other position in doubt is that of Belgreen head baseball coach Kenny Lindsey.
He was paid by federal funding, so he was pink slipped at the end of the school year because the school board was unsure of the availability of that funding come next year.
However, he may very well be hired back on in the same capacity once the question of the funding has been answered, but those actions will not come until next month at the earliest.
For now the school board may breath a little easier knowing that four of the five positions are no longer in question.
“I think our principals, interview committees and board members have done an excellent job,” Williams said.
“I think we’ve hired some outstanding people as coaches and teachers. I think we’ve done a great job.”