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Vidalia hopes for new coach in February

VIDALIA — Applications are being accepted for the head football coaching position at Vidalia High School following the announcement of Gary Parnham Jr.’s resignation.

The Concordia Parish School Board issued a press release confirming Parnham’s resignation Monday. The release also announced that Parnham would stay on staff as a teacher and head softball coach.

“I would like to thank Coach Parnham for his time and efforts as head football coach,” CPSB Superintendent Paul Nelson said in the statement. “I know that he will continue to support VHS and Vikings athletics through his other teaching and coaching responsibilities.”

That release went on to say the school would be accepting applications for Parnham’s replacement until 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17. Nelson said in the statement, the position would be advertised in local and state newspapers, and he hopes to have a new coach named by early February.

Vidalia principal Rick Brown said Parnham turned in his letter of resignation Friday and said he was happy he wouldn’t be losing Parnham as a faculty member at the school.

“I’m glad he’ll be here as a teacher and softball coach,” Brown said.

Brown also said he hopes “a good many people” are interested in leading the Vikings back to their winning history, and no one currently has a better chance than others for getting the job.

“I don’t know who will apply,” Brown said. “No one has the inside track. We’re not committed to anyone being the favorite.”

The Vikings dressed out less than 30 players by the end of the season, and several players transferred to area schools before the beginning of the season. With Vidalia only winning five games in the previous four seasons, Brown said he understood the importance of this hire.

“It’s very important,” Brown said. “It’s important we get the right person to build the program where it used to be. We have to get the kids out there and keep them out there. We need to find the right person with the right characteristics to handle the rebuilding of the program.”

With the football team struggling in recent years, some have questioned the school’s commitment to having a good football program. However, Brown scoffed at that notion.

“That’s as wrong as it can be,” Brown said. “I think athletics brings a lot of pride into the school and helps build character. Just because we’ve had some lean years, that’s not a direct reflection of anyone’s lack of interest or love for a particular sport.”

Parnham declined to discuss his resignation. He went 5-35 in four years as the Vikings’ head coach.

According to the release, those interested in applying for the position can contact the school district’s personnel coordinator, Rhonda Moore, at 318-336-4226, extension 35116, for additional information.