Cummings out as Ferriday head coach

Published 12:03 am Thursday, May 21, 2015

FERRIDAY — Cleothis Cummings was relieved of his duties as Ferriday High School head football coach last week.

The staff change was a result of Cummings not being able to get certified to be a head coach in the three years allotted to him. Because Cummings graduated from Alcorn State University, he said he was given three years to earn a certification, as Louisiana High School Athletics Association rules state that you must have a head coach with the state requirements.

“The bottom line is you wouldn’t be granted a renewal of your license if you didn’t take care of businesss, and unfortunately, I wasn’t able to,” Cummings said.

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Cummings said in order to earn his certification he had to take a three-component test — testing reading, writing and math, physical education and principals of learning and teaching. Cummings said he passed the physical education component.

“You could take it every 30 days, but it’s costly,” Cummings said.

Cummings notified his team Tuesday that he would not be returning as head coach.

“That was pretty difficult,” Cummings said. “We’ve been putting together a bond with kids that we’ve been training, and that’s no longer going to be the situation. It’s hard to put into words how hard this is.”

Ferriday principal James Davis said he could not discuss the matter because it was a personnel issue, but said he helped bring Cummings onto the coaching staff as a student coach in 2003, and has watched him grow into a great leader over the years.

“He’s put in great time with Ferriday High School over the years, and he brought some good things to the table for the program,” Davis said.

The next step for Ferriday High School, Davis said, is to continue accepting applications, so they can take the next step in filling the position.

“I’ll approach this job just like any other as principal,” Davis said. “Those interested need to apply. Once that closes, then the applications will be forwarded to me and I’ll start interviewing.”

As for Cummings, he said he has already started applying for jobs and has some prospects on his radar that have shown great interest. Cummings, who went 11-21 in his three-year career as head coach at Ferriday, is thankful for the opportunity he received.

“It’s been a wonderful experience,” Cummings said. “Overall, we did some great things to help these young men see the bigger picture.”