Search starting strong

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, May 2, 2012

News of Mark Heaton’s new job was a surprise late last Tuesday night.

The paper was being printed, so it was too late to get anything in for the Wednesday edition, but getting something on the Web site was just as good with it getting out to our readers quickly.

Just hearing that he had accepted a position with the Haleyville Lions caught people off guard, and quickly put the question in the air of who will be his successor?

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It has only been two years since the last coaching search to replace former ECHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Kyle Davis. That search lasted months with Davis being let go in December and Heaton not getting hired until the end of March.

The last time around there were some things handled wrong by the administration with the media and public kept out of the loop, but this time looks to be different.

Principal Zickeyous Byrd has quickly gone to work searching for Heaton’s replacement and met with Superintendent Randall Little Monday to discuss the proper procedure in finding a head coach.

That procedure will be in the form of a five-person committee that includes Byrd and members of the Atmore community.

The community is the one thing that Byrd wants involved in this process to help find the right person for the job.

He has been open about the type of person he wants leading the ECHS athletic programs and the football team.

He wants the best interest of the students and the programs, which is what he has done by speak about the opening and how he wants to fill it.

Finding the right person to fill Heaton’s shoes will be difficult, but it is a task that Byrd and the committee are ready and willing to take on.

They want a winner that will bring in strong values and help be a leader not just for athletics, but for the school and academics as well.

It will be a delicate, but swift process due to the timing of these events, but at the end of the search, the right man for the job will be the one that gives the Blue Devils the leadership they need.

Following the search will be interesting, especially if the committee is able to meet Byrd’s goal of finding a nominee by next Thursday.

Here’s to hoping a strong leader with a successful track record steps out in front and grabs the job.

Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at sports@atmore