With the announcement that Matt Middleton was heading back to the college game as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Southern Arkansas, the Cedar Creek administration and Board of Directors is in the market for a new head football coach.
The good news is that the Cougars are coming off a solid 2021 season that saw the Creek earn a berth in the Division IV playoffs. It was a season that saw Middleton and Co. record a historic win over Oak Grove with close losses to Ouachita Christian, St. Frederick and Jonesboro-Hodge.
The next head coach will inherit a roster that lost only three seniors and returns a ton of experience and talent on both sides of the football.
“I think these kids will compete and play against anybody and have a belief that they can do that,” said Middleton following the season in November. “I believe if (they) can stay together and continue to grow and stay injury free that (2022) could be a special year.”
The “we” will look differently in 2022 based on who is patrolling the sideline for Cedar Creek.
The challenging part of the hiring equation is two-fold.
Cedar Creek currently has an interim head of school in Cindy Hampton. So will the uncertainty of who will be leading the school come next fall play a role in potential candidates?
Secondly, there is still a cloud of questions in regards to the lawsuit filed against the school in August. With civil and criminal legal matters still pending, could that play a part in the pool of candidates that show interest?
Only time will tell.
One thing is for certain. Cedar Creek has a talented team returning and whoever is hired as the Cougars next head coach will have an immediate opportunity to continue to build upon what the 2021 accomplished.
If defensive coordinator Mark Ware, who could be a candidate for the job, returns as part of the next staff, one would think the Creek administration would focus on finding more of an offensive mind for the head coaching position.
Could it be a young up-and-comer? Could it be a former Creek alum? Could it be someone wanting to coach their son? All three of these things are possibilities. Even likely ones.
(The Lincoln Parish Journal will take a look at some possible coaching candidates in Friday’s LPJ).
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