As I sit at my desk Friday afternoon writing this column, the first interviews for Crestview High School’s next athletic director and head football coach are starting.
If all goes well by the time you read this column, the process will have ended and the Bulldogs will have their man.
But there's no need to panic if the coach isn't named until later this week or sometime next week. A coaching search is never easy.
It's not like buying a new car when you do some internet research on the make and model you are interested in, go down to the dealership and kick a few tires, test drive the vehicle and negotiate the best price.
If selecting a coach were as simple as that, the process wouldn't take long at all. All of us know that selecting a coach is complicated.
You can't just go to Consumer Reports or Angie's List for the information you need about a coach. I know the search committee checked references and dug deep into the background of all nine finalists. If any surprises come out of the search, it won't be because the committee wasn't diligent.
As I've talked with Crestview assistant principal Dexter Day, the search committee’s chairperson, I've been impressed with his attitude about the process.
Day said that he and fellow committee members are servants to Crestview’s student-athletes and the general community. He believes the committee would best serve the community by taking the time to get this hire right.
The next coach should embrace the same servant attitude that Day and the committee have.
Yes, the coach will become the face of Crestview football. In many ways, he also will be the face of the Crestview community. But he should take note that the greatest leaders are those who also serve.
If I could pick a model football coach, I'd look to a man like former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden or maybe Tom Landry, the Dallas Cowboys’ legendary coach. Both were great coaches, in part, because they were great servants and leaders.
I constantly hear that the Crestview football program is on the cusp of greatness. The school has the athletes who, with proper coaching, can take the program to the next level.
The field house and weight room are perhaps the best in Okaloosa County, so the facilities are in place to train the Bulldog athletes for that greatness.
But there's no doubt about it, the job at hand is not for the weak of heart. The Bulldogs will play in the new District 1-7A starting in the fall. And many starters from last year won't return due to graduation; some underclassmen have left the school.
I still believe that greatness is within the Bulldogs’ reach, even if it takes a couple of years to realize.
I can't wait to meet the new coach and hear his vision for Crestview greatness.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524