By WAYNE PHILLIPS
The post of head football coach at Greeneville High School is a popular one if the number of applicants for the job means anything.
GHS Athletic Director Randy Richards said April 16 has been aside as the date that school officials will interview at least seven men for the job, vacated recently when Steve McCurry resigned the post after two years at the helm.
Those seven men were chosen from a field that began at 28 legitimate candidates, Richards said. From those 28, the field was filtered down to 12, and now there are seven men who will interview for the job.
Among the candidates that will be interviewed are two members of the current coaching staff, Caine Ballard and Bill Brimer. Two other candidates are from the surrounding area, Richards said, while the other three are from out-of-state: Texas, Kentucky and North Carolina.
"Of course it depends upon how the interviews go, but we would like to make the announcement quickly after the interviews," Richards said. "But regardless, we do expect to know very soon who the new head coach will be."
Ballard took over the job on an interim basis after McCurry's resignation.
Greeneville made it all the way to the state semifinals in the old Class 4A system last fall. This season, Greeneville has moved down in class to the new 2A system and has been moved from the Inter-Mountain Conference to a new league called the Blue Ridge Conference, which is made up of Greene County schools Chuckey-Doak, West Greene and South Greene, along with Cumberland Gap, Claiborne and Grainger.
Bad weather normally slows spring sports to a crawl early in the season, but this week's winter burst has caught the prep teams in mid-season and now the schools will have to scramble to find make-up dates for all the league games that must be played.
Look for the school baseball and softball teams to play just about every day over the next couple of weeks as the tournaments are scheduled for the first week in May.
I wasn't surprised that Bruce Pearl decided to stay at the University of Tennessee after all the confab last week about the possibility of him moving to Memphis to replace John Calipari.
Memphis has a great basketball program, but frankly they need to play in a conference better than Conference USA. They have a cakewalk in that league every season, and for Pearl to leave the SEC would have, at best, been a lateral move, even though the program at Memphis is one of the best.
Anyway, Pearl got a new contract out of all the talk and he also got a pay raise for his assistants.
With the amount of money that was paid to get the new football staff in place, it's no wonder Pearl thought his assistants should receive a raise. I admire him for sticking up for his people.