Calera football search winding down

Calera High School interviewed its ninth, and possible final, candidate Friday for its head football coach vacancy.

The school hoped to be able to announce its decision March 6, but due to some logistics not working out as planned, athletic director Robert Burdette said Friday that the announcement will most likely not come until after spring break.

While the names of the finalists have not been released, Burdette confirmed that six of them are either head coaches or assistants in Jefferson or Shelby Counties. The others are from out of the area, including a current NCAA Division I assistant coach and a high school head coach in Tennessee.

“It’s a very attractive job,” Burdette said. “To think that people think enough of what’s going on here, and what we have, that someone would drive from Tennessee for a job interview. In Calera, 12 years ago we couldn’t get them to drive across the county line for a job interview.”

Burdette was referring to the football head coach search in 1997 that had two applicants.

“We couldn’t call people to come interview for this job,” he said.

This time around, 65 applicants came across principal Richard Bishop’s desk.

Burdette would not confirm if any of the local six are from Hoover High School or the Hoover School System, where Bishop used to work. However, he did add that “there’s a lot of qualified coaches in that Hoover system that will be qualified head coaches.”

The Eagles last head coach, Mac Thompson, previously coached in the Hoover system and also at Pelham before coming to Calera. Thompson resigned in early February to take the head coach position at Cook High School in Adel, Ga. He began his new position March 1. He was 28-9 in three seasons at Calera.

At the time of Thompson’s resignation, Bishop said a lot of players had asked him if Calera will hire a spread offense coach like Thompson. Bishop would only say that the search will not be limited. He added at the time, that within two days after Thompson’s resignation, he received 10 inquiries about the job.

“Whoever gets this job is going to have good players, outstanding facilities and support. All of the things are in place for people to be successful here,” Burdette said.