By: Seth McKinzie
Question: Gravette’s head coaching search…any news? Any leads? Any ideas???
LL: Glad you asked. LL knows at least a few of the names that are being floated around. A few of the coaches interested have reached out via text, phone call, etc., and LL has directed them to Norman Mitchell, the Gravette Athletics Director. LL knows Mitchell has talked with a couple of potential candidates but, obviously, nothing has been decided and possibly will not be for a while longer.
This is a big hire. Everyone knows Gravette did not expect to be looking for a head football coach two years in a row. The timing of this one is also very unfortunate. It is June, after all, and most head coaches that were looking for jobs in the early Spring most likely found those jobs and are now securely locked into their new gigs. Assistant coaches are more likely to apply for the job simply due to the fact they can tell their current district they are getting a promotion to a head coaching position.
The likelihood of the next head coach being a current head coach is low, but not necessarily out of the question. Does this mean the candidate pool is shallow? The answer to that is a resounding “no”. Gravette is still a desirable job, no matter what happened in 2018. Northwest Arkansas is still an attractive place to live, work, and raise a family. Gravette’s athletics facilities are fantastic and only getting better. The town, and district, are likely to continue to grow and that can only bring a possibility to grow the football program into something never seen before.
Know this: Mitchell is doing his due diligence, make no mistake about that. He knows the importance of this hire and that it is not something that is going to be rushed if he does not feel the very best candidate is available. He is making connections, working the phones, and asking all the right questions. Be patient.
Can Gravette hire a “big name”? That really depends on your definition of what a “big name” coach is. Will it be a current Northwest Arkansas 7A coordinator? Most likely not due to the timing. Will it be a head coach from out of state? Maybe. LL thinks head coaches from another state may be more apt to apply than in-state. Will it be someone who comes out of the blue that no one has ever heard of but gets excited about once they read of his pedigree and background? Well, that is the big question is it not?
LL thinks, however, the very last question is the most likely scenario. Who that man will be is still far from being determined and the coaches that have interviewed/will interview may decide they don’t have interest or Mitchell will determine they are not the right fit for the job.
There is still a long way to go. In the meantime, LL hopes the current players are excited about the future and are committing themselves to getting better until they know who will lead them in the Fall.