Mike Copley was named the new football coach at Ballard High School on Thursday, and he plans to keep a familiar face around to help him out.
Copley got his start in coaching in Kentucky before spending the past four seasons as the defensive coordinator at Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee.
At Ballard he’ll replace Mike Jackson, who stepped down in December after posting a 57-40 record over eight seasons. Jackson was the best man in Copley’s wedding and will stay on the Ballard staff as an assistant coach.
“I’m an only child, but he’s like my brother,” Copley said of Jackson. “After talking to Mike and some others, I know this is one of the premier jobs in the state. It’s a great situation and an honor to be the football coach at Ballard.”
Copley is a 1997 graduate of Lawrence County and went on to attend Marshall University. He was an assistant coach under Jackson at Pikeville from 2005-07 before being named head coach when Jackson left for Ballard in 2008. Copley was 7-6 in his only season at Pikeville.
After two seasons (2009-10) as head coach at Greenup County (8-14 record), Copley was the defensive coordinator at Rowan County in 2011 before heading to Centennial.
He’ll inherit a Ballard program that finished 6-5 last season and plays in a tough Class 6-A, District Four that also includes Trinity, Eastern, Jeffersontown and Seneca.
“Everything I like to do is an attacking style,” Copley said. “I’m not going to try to put a square peg in a round hole, but we’ll be multiple with our offense and defense. But with all three phases we want to attack.”