Coach resigns after 53 days

Published 7:14 am Monday, April 18, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Only 53 days after hiring the man to lead its football program back to prominence, Escambia County High School has been forced to go back to the drawing board.
Ted Darby, who was hired as head football coach for the Blue Devils Feb. 17, resigned from his position Monday, citing family reasons.
In a brief conversation Wednesday, Darby said his family would always come above his career.
"My family is first and that was the decision," Darby said. "That was the reason and I have no other comment beyond that."
Darby expanded a bit on his statement.
"I'm not one that waits until the end of the year (to resign)," Darby said. "I wanted to give the school time to find someone to replace me. They might have time to get someone before school is over, and not have to get someone in July or August."
Darby said he would finish his contract, which expires May 27. He plans on going through spring practice with the Blue Devils if a replacement has not been found. He informed the majority of the members of the Blue Devil football team of his decision Tuesday.
Escambia County Superintendent Melvin "Buck" Powell was disappointed with Darby's decision, but was moving forward with finding a replacement.
"All I will say is that Coach Darby resigned Monday and we are seeking a new head coach," Powell said.
An emergency meeting of the Escambia County School Board has been called for Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. to accept Darby's resignation. The meeting will be held at the Central Office in Brewton. Powell said he hopes to have a search committee selected by Tuesday and a new coach hired by April 28.
The new coach will be the third in a span of six months, and the fifth at the school since Melvin Middleton resigned in 1996.
Darby denied rumors that he had obtained another job elsewhere and wanted to make his decision perfectly clear.
"I felt it was best for my family," Darby said. "I will never choose a job or profession over my family."
As for now, the Escambia County School Board is once again preparing to handoff the job to yet another coach.

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