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ECHS coach leaving

Escambia County coach Rico Jackson has accepted the head football coach’s position at Murphy High School.

“No. 1, it was hard to leave my principal (Dennis Fuqua),” Jackson said. “My principal is one of the best I’ve ever had. My administration was awesome. I enjoyed coaching the kids. They are great kids, and this is a great community.

“It was a situation where Murphy showed interest in me, I went to meet with them and it spawned interest,” he said. “I do a lot of business in Mobile, and my parents live there. The transition was a natural fit for them and me.”

Jackson helped lead the Blue Devils to a 6-4 season, their first winning season since 2010. Last year, ECHS finished 2-8 during Jackson’s first year as head coach.

Jackson said after the end of the regular season, he was contacted by a couple of other schools to come coach as well.

“It’s a new challenge,” he said. “It’s bitter sweet. I’m going to miss the kids here, and coming to work here every day.”

Fuqua said ECHS will advertise the job vacancy, and will follow the proper protocol as far as hiring any new faculty member.

“We are appreciative of what he has done for Escambia County High School, and wish him the best,” Fuqua said.

According to reports, Jackson told his players about the news of his leaving Monday morning.

Escambia County’s next football coach will be the school’s fifth in less than 10 years.