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Natchez High School head football coach resigns

NATCHEZ — Lance Reed officially resigned as Natchez High School head football coach Wednesday with plans to take a year off from coaching and focus on teaching.

Driven by Natchez High School’s concentrative effort to increase academic performance, Reed said he felt athletics was dwindling in terms of importance to the school. That, combined with Reed’s extensive traveling to visit with family in the Memphis area, ultimately led to Reed’s decision.

“The direction of the district has taken more of an academic approach, which there’s nothing wrong with that, but extracurricular activities seemed to become secondary as a focus,” Reed said.

Reed will pursue teaching math at a school in Desoto County, and look to finish his Ph.D. in education leadership.

Reed’s assistant coaches will be moving elsewhere, also.

Trey Woodard accepted a job with Franklin County High School’s football staff, while Ivan Evans accepted a coaching job with Columbus High School.

The timing of Reed’s decision comes at a critical time for Natchez. NHS athletic manager Beatrice Collins said she’s worried about finding a suitable replacement with less than three months away from the season.

“Lance Reed will be difficult to replace because he was a great coach, and he was a great role model for the players,” Collins said.

Reed said he will miss Natchez, and he hopes the community will rally around the students and continue to support athletics.

“We have talented students here in Natchez, and extracurricular activities will drive our academic performance with proper support,” Reed said.