Being the News Bulletin’s sports editor can occasionally be time consuming — to say the least. I often plan my schedule and days off around games or college scholarship signings.
Sometimes, like last week, I have no choice but to take time off — even when I know something big is about to break. As much as I love this job and breaking stories, family is more important, and my dad, who lives in DeLand, was having a health crisis that required me to head south a few days.
Before leaving Tuesday afternoon, I talked to Crestview High School assistant principal Dexter Day, chairperson of the head football coach/athletic director search committee. He told me the committee had a man they were ready to recommend to the school board. Day also said there were a few minor details to iron out before making the name — that we now know is Tim Hatten — official.
Day said I would be the first to know when he could release the name — which he did, as I made the drive to be with Dad.
A part of every newspaper reporter lives to work and break a story, and although I Hatten's name and some details, this was one story I'd have to give to somebody else. So I called my boss, editor Thomas Boni, and we agreed it was best to give the story to our sister organization, the Northwest Florida Daily News.
For the record, I predicted that Hatten would get the job.
As I eyed the applicants’ names and resumes, Hatten stood above the rest. Granted, I didn't officially write Hatten's name down until 24 hours before I got the call saying he was the guy, but a prediction is a prediction right up until post time.
Some people still might think the search took longer than needed. In reality, the process took 34 days from the time Kevin Pettis announced his resignation to Day’s call telling me Hatten was the committee's choice for the job. That includes a week or so the committee had to wait while men applied for the job.
As expected, the Okaloosa County School Board approved Hatten’s hiring during Monday night's meeting.
Hatten wasted no time in getting started at Crestview and was on the job Tuesday morning.
Spring football starts seven weeks from today, and that doesn't leave much time for Hatten to get his system in place and meet his players and assistant coaches.
The next few months will be busy for Hatten and everyone associated with the Bulldog athletic program.
And I'll be here to cover the stories as they happen.
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524