The next step: Cathedral looks to hire head coach, athletic director

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2022

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NATCHEZ — A timeline is loosely set to replace former Cathedral Head Coach Chuck Darbonne by the spring and the Rev. Aaron Williams said he hopes to hire an athletic director by the summer. Craig Beesley retired from the AD position this fall but is continuing to work in the background. 

Darbonne resigned last week after the end of the football season. Williams said replacing the football coach is the most immediate concern. There is a plan in place for the assistant coaches to lead off-season weight training. 

He is working to put together a small team to search for the next coach which will include himself and Robin Branton, secondary principal at Cathedral. People who are interested in the position can submit applications through Branton or Williams.

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The new hire is an exciting process for Cathedral, Williams said. While they are having a good year academically and athletically, cross country just won a state title, they are in a period of change. 

“It gives me a chance to hire new administrators for athletics and the school to put together my team. They can bring the school to a vision we have,” he said. “At the school we want to build a culture. We are a catholic institution. Our role academically and athletically is to form these kids to be good men and women. At a school like ours, you want programs to have success but also build the kids up.” 

The next head football coach or athletic director will be someone who is a good role model for student athletes and someone who commands respect. He added the athletic director needs to be someone who can have good interactions with the parents, alumni, benefactors and community members. 

Ideally, the next head coach needs to have experience in the position. Williams said the goal is to win, he always wants to win, but the program needs to be building the kids up in the right way. Before Cathedral, he walked the sidelines at St. Joseph Catholic in Greenville

“I like to build a winning program. I don’t want to sacrifice it at the standards of behavior and honorability,” he said. “It is exciting to be here on Friday nights. I’m interested in seeing the whole athletic program come together. One weakness I have noticed is the different sports are separate. We need to have a common vision of what we want to do. It will help us build a more effective program. We want to improve our culture. One complaint this past year was about the discipline of the kids. To some extent, that comes to improving the administrative side. We have to put the right people in positions to help us form these kids.”