CRESTVIEW — The search for Crestview High School’s next head football and athletic director is in the stretch run. If all goes as planned, the search committee, headed by assistant principal Dexter Day, hopes to have a candidate to present to the school board at its March 11 meeting.


CRESTVIEW — The search for Crestview High School’s next head football and athletic director is in the stretch run.



If all goes as planned, the search committee, headed by assistant principal Dexter Day, hopes to have a candidate to present to the school board at its March 11 meeting.



Finalists for the job



"We've got the list narrowed down to the finest who are the finalists," Day said. "We've got nine who are the finalists.



"What we are trying to do is to hit the deadline and get it OK’d to go before the school board for the March 11th meeting."



Finalists are:



•Mike Bennett, head coach at Pensacola High School



•Michael Coe, Madison County  head coach



•Thomas Grant, Crestview offensive coordinator



•Tim Hatten, former Pearl River  Miss., Community College coach



•Scott Klees, Wakulla head coach



•Ernie Martin, Crestview assistant football coach and head track coach



•Chris Metzger, Pine Hurst, N.C. head coach



•Anthony Patten, Crestview freshman/junior varsity head coach



•Robert Ramsay, Yulee High School head coach.



"Believe this: We have extensively checked into these people and went two to three years back to where they've been," Day said. "We talked to people in the community and talked to people in the Chamber of Commerce, in the school, the secretaries, the players and all that. We have done a deep background search on a lot of people, and that's why some people got eliminated and some people didn't.



"I just praise our committee for the extensive work they've done in putting the time and effort into this."



Interviewing for the nine finalists started Friday with Grant and Martin meeting with the committee. Bennett, Hatten, Klees and Patten will interview Sunday. The committee was still trying to arrange times for Metzger, Coe and Ramsay to come in sometime next week, Day said.



The committee has a list of six to eight questions the finalists will be asked. The questions deal with everything from promoting athletes from all Crestview sports for recruiting to discipline and budget issues.



Deadline approaches



Committee members want the search to end next week, but they don't feel pressured to meet the deadline for the March 11 school board meeting, Day said.



"Those that do know me know I'm going to find a person that's going to come in here and work," Day said. "And I expect it. I'm going to hold them to a high standard, just like I hold myself to a high standard of work ethic.



"It doesn't matter how long it takes to get the job done. We are all servants and we are serving this community and these kids to get them where they need to be."



Day praised the efforts of Crestview assistant coaches Chris Sweatt, who has become interim head coach, and Andrew Black for their work with the team as the  transition process continues.



However, he said he hopes that the new athletic director can be on the job as soon as possible.



Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at randyd@crestviewbulletin.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524