New SHS football coach will be named next week

The process of interviewing candidates to replace Craig Slaughter is nearly over, and a press conference is planned next week to name Sweetwater High School's new head football coach and athletic director.Interviews for the dual position have been conducted since Slaughter announced his resignation last week to accept a similar position at Llano, and Thursday was the last day to accept applications, said superintendent Terry Pittman. As of yesterday afternoon, over 100 applications had been received, Pittman said.The last interviews will take place Monday and according to Pittman, plans call for a press conference to be held at noon Thursday, April 12 at the SHS gym to announce the person who has been named to replace Slaughter. Pittman said that while an announcement is planned at that time, there may be a little less hoopla this time than there was back in 2009 when Slaughter was hired to replace Kent Jackson. That ceremony, which was attended by Slaughter and his family, was held at Mustang Bowl following his hiring with Pittman and Sweetwater ISD board members in attendance along with several members of the public.At any rate, the new head football coach — who may or may not attend the press conference — won't be officially hired until the following Monday, April 16 when the school board holds its regular April meeting, Pittman said, and will start here the following day.The superintendent said he was happy and "not surprised" by the high number of persons who have applied for the position. He also said he "fast tracked" the selection process to get someone to Sweetwater as soon as possible since Slaughter's resignation came relatively late in the school year. "We wanted to have someone in here who could work with the kids and get to know the team and meet with the rest of the staff," Pittman said. "Time is short as far as giving (whoever is hired and the coaching staff) time to get together before the year is over."Pittman also confirmed that offensive coordinator Jarrett Vickers and defensive coordinator Clint Easley will also be leaving to join Slaughter in Llano, and others could follow. He said that the new head football coach would "have the opportunity" to bring in as many as four new assistants to Sweetwater.