The Munford High School administration did not have to look far, or for very long, to find its next head football coach.
Eight days after Nick Markle resigned to take the head coaching job at Union City, his defensive coordinator the last two seasons, Slade Calhoun, was named as the Cougars’ new head coach today.
“Coach Calhoun is most definitely a student of the game of football. He also has an uncanny ability to connect with his players,” said Dr. Courtney Fee, MHS principal. “This combination made the decision easy.”
“We’re excited to build on the success of the last several seasons,” said MHS athletic director Mike Huffman. “Calhoun was instrumental in creating a winning mindset for our athletes and we’re confident he is the guy to take us to the next level.”
Calhoun was a head coach at Haywood High School from 2011 to 2012 and has been an assistant at several schools during his 20 years of experience, including stints at Ridgeway, Kirby, Brighton and Germantown high schools.
During his time at Haywood, Calhoun deployed a spread offense. Markle has used a run-heavy option offense during his successful run at Munford.
“We’re gong to do what we feel like the kids can be successful in,” Calhoun said. “We’re just trying to put them in the positions where they can have the most success and maximize everyone’s potential. If that means running the spread, if that means running the flexbone, then that’s what we’re going to do.”
When Calhoun was hired as Haywood’s head coach, he was kind of an outsider, unfamiliar with the community and players. This time, his second head coaching stint, will be different.
“One of the things that excites me the most is, being here for two years, I feel like I have great relationships with administration, they’re awesome to work with, and the assistant coaches,” Calhoun said. “The staff is in place. The rising senior class, they were sophomores when I got here … I started several of those as sophomores on defense and I have a really good relationship with them. They are super hard workers. All of our kids are like that. I never regret coming to work or coming to practice.”
Calhoun feels like serving as a head coach at Haywood has prepared him for leading Munford into the future.
“Oh yeah, anybody will tell you that,” he said. “There’s nothing that’s going to prepare you for it until you do it … The second time around, any Little League or high school coach will tell you, it’s a little easier. The learning curve is not as hard.”