The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 26, 2013

Summers County football coach resigns

Houchins was named 2012 area coach of the year

BECKLEY — Bob Dylan sang the times they are a-changin.’  Who knew the song was written about Hinton?

Just a little over a month since longtime Summers County basketball coach James Payne announced his retirement, the Bobcats athletic department will be searching for another new coach, this time for their football team.

The 2012 Register-Herald Football Coach of the Year Josh Houchins submitted his resignation earlier this week. Houchins also serves as principal for Summers County High School.

“The biggest reason I’m resigning, I’ve worked the last two years as the principal and football coach,” Houchins said. “It was neccesary for me to resign so I could put my full focus towards being the principal of the high school.”

Houchins has had success with Summers County in his three short seasons at the helm. After several years at the middle school level, he took over the Bobcats program ten days prior to the season when then head coach Leon Franklin left for an assistant job with Concord University.

In his first season, the Bobcats were winless. In 2011, the team improved, but narrowly missed the playoffs. 2012 saw the Bobcats improve to 7-3 and made the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

“I thought he did a great job balancing both positions,” Summers County athletic director and girls basketball coach Wayne Ryan said. “I know how difficult that is when you have two great responsibilities like that. I hate to lose him as our football coach.”

Houchins admits that a recent report from the West Virginia Department of Education labeling Summers County High School as a “priority school”, a school among the lowest five perfect of Title I schools based on achievement and a historical lack of progress over a three-year period.

“Our school is in need of a lot of changes to improve education,” Houchins said. “I didn’t feel like I needed to be the football coach when we have those changes that need to be made.”

Houchins insists he will still be a part of the football team moving forward, just in a different role.

“I’m resigning as head coach, but I’m still going to be very involved as a principal,” Houchins said. “I’ll be at the practices and games. I’m not leaving and going anywhere. I have a big vested interest in the program. I’m going to still be there and working with them.”

One area Houchins won’t be involved in will be hiring a new coach. While principals at other schools are generally involved in the process, Houchins will turn the search over to the board of education and Ryan.

“Coach Ryan normally does the process as far as hiring coaches goes,” Houchins said. “If one of my assistants apply for the job, it would be a difficult decision to make.”

It should be a quick turn around for the ‘Cats.

“The board has already taken action on the resignation,” Ryan said. “I expect the job to be posted on Monday. It’s open to all applicants and there will be limited teaching positions available. We’ll probably have some in-house guys who are interested. So we’ll let that process take place and then we’ll gt someone hired quickly.”

It will be an adjustment for the seniors on the upcoming Summers County team.

This group of kids, Josh has coached them since they were in middle schools,” Ryan said. “They have a lot of confidence in him. That played well for us. They’re going to play football without him for the first time in a long time.”

E-mail: jrollins@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072314 brand Bradshaw or the field?

    If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 justice Home sweet home away from home

    When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 Legion.jpg Post 32 rips Parkersburg 19-3 in American Legion tournament

    The double play in baseball is said to be a pitcher’s best friend. If that is the case, an 11-run inning by the offense is a very close second.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 Gaddis.jpg Former Mountaineer standout Gaddis making career in MLS

    Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis may consider Indianapolis his hometown, but make no mistake about it, the Mountain State will always have a place in his heart.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Beamer sees turnaround for Hokies

    Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer painted a rosy picture of the Hokies’ prospects during Monday’s Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff press conference in Greensboro, N.C.

    July 22, 2014

  • saints Picnic with the Saints

    The New Orleans Saints are coming to town, and fans will have the chance to share in the excitement at Picnic with the Saints this Saturday at the AdvoCare Sports Performance Center at The Greenbrier. INCLUDES UPDATED PRACTICE SCHEDULE.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp