After 11 seasons as Southport High School’s football coach, Bill Peebles decided it was time for a change.
Peebles, 46, was named as Lawrence Central’s coach on Wednesday.
“I was very happy at Southport,” Peebles said. “I was well supported and had great friendships there. The program is in much better shape than when I got there and the guys there will continue to make it a great football program. I wanted a challenge of walking into a situation like Lawrence Central and the chance to build another program.”
Peebles said Lawrence Central’s program is in far better shape than Southport’s was when he was hired in 2005. It had been a decade since the Cardinals had enjoyed a winning season. In Peebles’ first three seasons, Southport scuffled to a 2-28 record.
But Southport turned it around in 2008, finishing 9-2. The Cardinals never again suffered a losing season under Peebles’ watch, winning sectional titles in 2013 and ’14, the first for the program since 1990. Peebles was 62-56 overall at Southport, including a 28-7 mark the past three seasons.
“I’m really proud of what we accomplished there,” he said.
Lawrence Central won a state title in 2012 under coach Jayson West, who is now at Warren Central. The Bears were 10-21 the past three seasons under Jed Richman, who resigned after the season. Lawrence Central moved from Conference Indiana to the tougher Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference in 2013.
Peebles said he was drawn to the opportunity to coach in the MIC.
“Lawrence Central is a program that should compete for a MIC championship every year,” he said. “It’s a challenge. Every week in the MIC is a championship-level game. But that challenge to compete against those teams and coaches is appealing. Lawrence Central is in a much better position than when I got to Southport. (Richman and West) are very good coaches.”
Peebles, who lives in Lawrence Township, coached as an assistant for 10 years at Cathedral prior to taking the Southport job.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.
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