After two seasons, Haywood High head football coach Ernie Jackson has been relieved of his duties in charge of the Tomcats’ program.
The decision spread over social media on Tuesday after it was made public, and Jackson confirmed the firing when contacted by the Sun. Haywood County Schools Superintendent Teresa Russell is expected to issue a statement Wednesday morning.
The decision brings to close a time for the program that’s had its ups and downs in the 19 months since Jackson was named the new head coach.
Jackson was promoted to varsity head coach after having led the middle school team to a bit of success. He took over in June of 2013 after his predecessor Slade Calhoun abruptly left just after the previous school year had ended.
Jackson was named the head coach less than a week later and had a little more than two months to begin coaching before his first game as a head coach with two weeks of dead period in the middle of that time.
The results on the field came quickly as the Tomcats started with a big win over Booker T. Washington then surprised a favored Dyersburg team for its second win. After three losses, the Tomcats won their next four to secure a winning record and their first playoff berth since 2009. They were eliminated in the first round by eventual state semifinalist Trezevant.
Jackson’s tenure would be a little more rocky in 2014 as he was suspended for a games for violation of school policy but reinstated the following week.
The Tomcats failed to make the playoffs after going 4-6 but were in the running for a postseason berth going into Week 10 before falling at North Side by two points.
The change in coaching staffs ensures the program will have its fourth coach in seven seasons since Bart Stowe left for Dyersburg in 2009. Tim Seymour and Calhoun each coached the team two seasons, and Jackson coached two as well.