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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Johnson: Central looking for one good man

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In the midst of a pair of TSSAA state championship runs in basketball, there's been a little more talk concerning Shelbyville Central High athletics.

Former Central High football coach Whit Taylor is now assistant principal at Harris Middle.
(T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)
With former Eagle football head coach Whit Taylor recently moving into administration as the assistant principal at Harris Middle, Central principal Don Embry and assistant principal/athletic director Jimmy Williams have been working overtime in search of a new head football coach.

Embry anticipates naming the coach in a couple of weeks, hopefully the week after spring break.

"There've been several administrative openings come up across Bedford County and Whit has always had an interest to go into administration," Embry said. "He has even done some part-time administrative duties for us at Central in the past when we needed him.

"He got the Harris Middle position and there's no question in my mind that he'll do an outstanding job there. We're certainly going to miss him at Central because he did so many good things other than coaching. He was highly respected by the students and teachers and we wish him well."

Embry, a former football coach himself, has shown he's up for the challenge of finding Taylor's replacement.

When legendary Eaglette coach Rick Insell left to become the women's basketball coach at Middle Tennessee last spring, Embry made a slam dunk pick in hiring current Eaglette coach Lynn Burkey.

Expect the same.

Embry is looking for a coach that will make a lasting impression on the Golden Eagle football program and take it to new heights.

"We're looking for someone with either some head coaching experience or a good coordinator at a successful program for a number of years," Embry said.

That individual should be a good teacher, excellent role model and someone who will bring a lot of excitement and enthusiasm to the program.

Embry is looking for someone who can relate to the players and in turn, whom the players will respond to in a positive manner.

He's looking for a winner, both on and off the field.

"I think it's important to find somebody that will be successful both on and off the field and I want us to be competitive in our region," Embry said.

Approximately 18 coaches have applied for the position. Embry has agreed to keep all names confidential.

To date, they've held four interviews. A few more are expected this week and possibly a couple next week, before narrowing it down to two or three finalists.

Those applicants come from both out-of-state and within Tennessee and range from head coaches to coordinators and assistant coaches.

"To be quite honest, I'm very excited with some of the applicants we've got," Embry said. "We've had some very good interviews with a wide variety of applicants. I feel very good about the process so far."

Both Embry and Williams feel like the right person is out there.

The future remains bright for the Golden Eagle football program.

Toward the end of the football season last year, I wrote a column about the lack of fan support for the Golden Eagle football team and I really challenged the community to become more supportive.

To my disbelief, I had more positive responses to that column than any I've ever written.

Not to take anything away from our basketball programs. What a great accomplishment. Both teams playing in the state championship in the same year, but I think Shelbyville is more than a basketball town.

Check out the Eagle baseball and soccer teams this spring.

Come see all the excitement surrounding the Golden Eaglette softball team.

The track team may be the most successful in recent history and the tennis team has become one of the most dominant in the area.

A pair of Eagle wrestlers recently competed in the state tournament. Next fall, the talented Eaglette soccer team will once again compete for a state bid while the Eagle golfers hit the links again.

And, by the way, there's a bowling team as well.

Sure, I think Shelbyville is a great basketball town, but more than ever, I believe Shelbyville is a great SPORTS town.

Gary Johnson is a sports writer for the TImes-Gazette.

Gary Johnson
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