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Rushing takes over as Cathedral football coach

NATCHEZ — For the first time in over 30 years, a Beesley will not be overseeing the Cathedral football program.

That became official when Ron Rushing was named the new Green Wave head coach, succeeding Craig Beesley, who is taking over as athletic director while continuing to coach the Cathedral baseball team. He will be an assistant coach with the football team.

Ken Beesley coached the Cathedral football program from 1979 through 2006, and his son Craig took over the helm for the next three years.

Rushing just completed his first year at Cathedral, where he was an assistant football and baseball coach.

“I’m very excited to be the new Cathedral football coach,” Rushing said. “It’s an honor to be the first to come after the Beesleys. There is definitely some pressure. (Ken Beesley) built the program up and I want to continue that success.”

Craig Beesley said coaching both football and baseball was difficult, and when he recently succeeded Josh Loy as athletic director, he had to lighten his coaching load.

“Coaching baseball and football was tough on the kids because I wasn’t able to be there with the football players in the spring,” Beesley said. “The time constraints are the biggest thing. All of our athletics are done after school and there are major time constraints with trying to coach two different sports. I think this is the best thing for the kids and the coaching staff.”

Beesley said Rushing was an ideal coach for Cathedral because of his attention to detail and energetic personality.

“He is very energetic and knowledgeable of the game,” Beesley said. “The kids respond to him well. He is very disciplined and the kids like that. I think the kids are really going to enjoy him being the head coach.”

Cathedral finished last season with a 4-7 record and lost to Weir in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs.

Rushing’s main goal this summer is getting his players in individual position camps and the weight room to prepare themselves for the fall.

“We’ve got to keep the kids excited about it,” Rushing said. “The biggest thing I want to accomplish is a year-round weight program.

Rushing has never been a head coach on the varsity level, but has been an assistant at several different schools around the area for the past 13 years.

“I’ve been around some great coaches and I’ve learned a lot from all of them,” Rushing said. “I’ve stolen a little bit of knowledge from all of them, and hopefully that will pay off. I’m just going to take what everybody does well and put it together.”

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