As the season opens for Midstate high school football teams — as soon as this week for many — 27 coaches will make their debuts. Five in particular will be looking for a quick start. Here’s a look at who, and why.
Jonathan Quinn, Davidson Academy
After five seasons at the NAIA level, Quinn — an ex-McGavock quarterback who starred at Middle Tennessee State before spending seven seasons in the NFL — is back in his hometown. Davidson won three DII-A titles from 2005-08, but has won just 29 games and has posted three straight losing seasons in the five years since. Quinn, meanwhile, was 45-13 in five years at Mid-America Nazarene in Kansas.
Terry Arrington, Northeast
In his last head coaching role, Arrington opened Kenwood and went 21-53 in seven years. After stepping down at the end of the 2003 season, he has since served as an assistant at Springfield, Davidson Academy and Goodpasture. Northeast has had some success over the past four years, going 32-19 with four 5A playoffs berths — reaching last year’s semifinals after a pair of quarterfinal appearances.
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Steve Williams, Overton
A 1977 Overton graduate, Williams returns for his first head coaching position after a lengthy career as an assistant that included a stop as defensive coordinator for the Bobcats. He takes over following the retirement of Terry Anderson, who in his last season guided Overton to an 11-1 mark and a Class 6A opening-round playoff win. Anderson won 120 games in 20 seasons with 13 playoff appearances.
Jake Tyre, Cascade
Tyre succeeds his former coach, having played for the Champions under Kenny Parker and later spending six years as an assistant on Parker’s staff. Cascade earned a playoff berth in its first season — and Parker’s last — as a Class 3A program, finishing 7-4. Before moving up, Cascade had reached the postseason 11 times in Class 1A and 2A, and Parker was 128-73 in 18 seasons.
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Ryan Sulkowski, Coffee County
A one-time assistant at Austin Peay, Sulkowski arrived at Coffee County after four years at Baker County in Glen St. Mary, Fla. His teams there went 33-13 and were ranked in USA Today’s Super 25 in 2010, ’11 and ’12. In 2009 he went 4-6 at Rifle (Colo.). Coffee County was winless last season, has lost 11 straight games and has not had a winning record since going 6-5 in 2007.
— MAURICE PATTON
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