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Search for new coach under way at Franklin County

MEADVILLE — Applications are currently being collected for the position of head football coach at Franklin County High School.

Former Bulldogs head coach Ricky O’Quinn said Monday he was informed after the Thanksgiving break that he would be reassigned to coach boys and girls basketball, beginning this fall.

“The way it was presented to me, and I’m not trying to seem disgruntled, but it was told to me that it was take it or leave it,” O’Quinn said. “I could either coach basketball or, if not, then I just wouldn’t coach.”

Current boys and girls head coach Chris Jordan is expected to step down after this season and focus on teaching at Franklin County, athletic director Chris Calcote said.

O’Quinn said he wasn’t exactly sure why he was reassigned, but he guessed that his teams’ performances simply weren’t up to the standard set by the Bulldogs’ 2006 state championship in MHSAA Class 3A. In three seasons at the helm, O’Quinn was 21-17, making the playoffs all three years and getting to the second round in two of those three seasons.

Calcote, however, said the decision didn’t come about because of O’Quinn’s record.

“There’s more to it than wins and losses,” Calcote said. “The administration felt that after three years, the program simply wasn’t where it needed to be at that time.”

O’Quinn is still teaching at Franklin County, and he said he’s looking forward to taking over the basketball program this fall. As far as football, O’Quinn said he wouldn’t trade the last three years of his tenure for anything.

“Whatever life throws at you, it’s like the game of football,” O’Quinn said. “You have to be tough. Our guys played hard for us, and we were still able to win. We’re proud of them, and we want them to know nothing they did was meaningless.”

If there’s ever a chance for him to help the football team in the future, O’Quinn said he would be happy to do so. Returning to be an assistant coach — a position he held from 2005-2009 — likely isn’t in the books, however.

“I don’t think they’ll offer it, plus, me being a former head coach, it’d be a bad situation for the next coach,” O’Quinn said.

Calcote said he hopes to interview one or two candidates next week after taking applications through Friday. By Jan. 31, Calcote said he wants to have a name handed to the superintendent for recommendation.

“We’re looking for some stability and someone who has a plan in mind that, when he comes in, he can sell that to the program,” Calcote said.

Calcote also stressed the decision was nothing personal against O’Quinn.

“It’s just a business decision,” Calcote said. “I consider Ricky a good friend. We hope to continue winning in basketball and football.”