By Malcolm Butler
With yesterday’s joint announcement by Cedar Creek School and Steven Ensminger about the mutual parting of ways, the administration, athletics council, and Board for the school are faced with a tough task.
With the start of fall practice looming just over a month away, Cedar Creek Head of School Cindy Hampton and Board President Lomax Napper and those charged with finding the next Cougar head coach are on the clock.
Simply put, it is a big hire for a multitude of reasons.
First and foremost, the school is replacing not only its head football coach, but it is replacing its athletics director as well. Two hats; the two biggest hats within the school’s athletics department.
And at a school the size of Cedar Creek, the AD has a plethora of responsibilities that go beyond just coaching football and handling the athletics budget. Fundraising. Facility improvements. LHSAA legislation (which currently is a full-time job with all the ever-changing landscape). And much, much more.
It is a big hire.
But with the Cougars returning most of their roster from last year’s 6-5 team that recorded a historic win over Oak Grove, came within two minutes of beating OCS, and advanced to the Division IV playoffs, the stage is set for what could be one of the best teams in recent Creek history.
It is a big hire.
When the hire of Ensminger was made back in February, there was plenty of talk around the watercooler about names like Gene Johnson and Dan Childress. But for various reasons both candidates “withdrew” their names from consideration.
And Ensminger’s name emerged.
Meanwhile, the same group of Creek leaders who are now once again focused on the football/AD hire are also still in the hunt for a boys’ basketball coach after Robert Mitcham’s contract was not renewed. So, there is still a lot of work to do to solidify two important coaching positions on the Creek campus.
It is a big hire. And one that needs to happen quickly while not sacrificing the quality of the chosen candidate.
So much for summer vacation.
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