The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

May 24, 2014

West football search winds down, trimmed to 3 finalists

New 'Cats coach could be announced May 29

— With spring football in the rearview mirror, the West Limestone football program is only days away from filling its head coach vacancy.

West Principal Charlotte Craig said 75 applicants applied for the job after seven-year coach David Arnsparger resigned in March to take care of his ailing father.

The three finalists are West offensive coordinator Jordan Cantrell, 29; Pelham offensive assistant Bobby Rhoades, 39; and Parrish head coach Sam McCorkle, 64.

Cantrell, a 2002 East Limestone graduate, has been a West assistant for the past seven years. He also serves as the boys and girls track coach.

Since 2007, the Wildcats have a 38-36 mark. They made the Class 4A playoffs in three of the past four seasons, including last year.

Rhoades has 10 years of experience as a college assistant at Illinois State, Central Arkansas, Tusculum and Delta State, has been an offensive assistant on the Pelham staff since 2010. He also spent one year at 6A Grissom in Huntsville, finishing 4-6 in his only season as a head coach.

McCorkle was hired by 1A Parrish in Walker County three days before fall practice started, going 1-9 last season. He is 43-41 while coaching high school football in Alabama, including a 27-17 mark and three playoff berths at 5A Etowah from 2009-12.

McCorkle has coached at eight high schools, including five in which he was head coach. He also helmed three college football programs at Tennessee-Martin, Livingston and West Alabama and was an assistant at seven others, including Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

The six-round search was whittled down to three candidates. The school used separate application and interview committees that were comprised of parents, community members and faculty, plus input from Craig and West assistant principal Johnny Bachus.

Craig is submitting her final recommendation to Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk. If he approves it, the board will consider the hire at its next meeting at 7 a.m. Thursday at the Clinton Street courthouse annex.

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Local News 2
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