Porter resigns as Trinity football coachPublished 3:02pm Sunday, July 1, 2012
NATCHEZ — Ryan Porter didn’t even get to coach a game at Trinity Episcopal.
Porter, who replaced David King as head football coach and athletic director at Trinity this past spring, resigned Saturday due to personal reasons, according to Trinity Headmaster Les Hegwood.
“Ryan and I, we wish each other well,” Hegwood said. “That’s the way it was left.”
Porter could not be reached for comment.
Hegwood said interviews for the position of head football coach are currently under way, and he will head up the search with input from the Trinity family and supporters.
“We want someone who understands Trinity’s priorities in athletics, academics and having a healthy balance,” Hegwood said.
Hegwood said he’s been conducting interviews ever since the news came that Porter would resign.
“We’re going to keep on going forward,” Hegwood said. “We want to have something timely, but we want someone we feel really great about, and I feel like we have that narrowed down.”
Trinity Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Rod Givens said the school would look to move quickly in hiring a coach so the players don’t miss a beat with summer workouts currently under way.
“Practices are going to be canceled for (today),” Givens said. “The plans are for us to make an announcement Tuesday evening.”
Givens said the new coach would at least get the team through this upcoming season on an interim basis, though he said ideally the candidate would also be a long-term solution.
“But with such short notice, we have an immediate need,” Givens said. “We want to get someone in who’s qualified to lead the team in the short term.”
Hegwood said it would be important for the new head coach to have the right priorities in terms of academics and athletics.
“I coached for nine years, and I always made it very simple: Our priorities are God, family and academics, and then baseball, cross country, football golf, whatever,” Hegwood said. “All of those things are healthy in the formation of a child.”
Givens said although it’s frustrating to have to find a football coach with just a month and a half to go before the season, he doesn’t expect the transition to be difficult.
“I’m sure it’s a little baffling to the players, but we have kids who play sports year round, so they’re always in shape,” Givens said. “It’s just a matter of getting their football minds turned on.
“Up to this point, Ryan’s had them tuned up. Conditioning and fundamentals are rock-solid, and you don’t lose those between coaches.”
Being relatively new to the job of headmaster, Hegwood said he’s nonetheless comfortable hiring a coach on such short notice.
“One door closes, another one opens,” Hegwood said. “That’s the way my life has been so far. I’m just a positive person; that’s the only way to approach anything like this.”
Porter was hired this past spring after it was announced that King would leave Trinity to become headmaster and head football coach at Adams County Christian School. Porter oversaw spring and early summer workouts for Trinity.