Jeremy Reed, head football coach of the Altus Class 5A State champion football team for 2015, is leaving Altus for a coaching position in Pearcy, Arkansas. The announcement comes just one day after Reed was awarded a trophy for being named Coach of the Year at the Jim Thorpe awards banquet at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
“I’m not leaving because of Altus,” Reed said. “This is my profession.” He went on to explain, “I’m young and I have a young family. The state of education in Oklahoma is in a mess and I need to do what is best for me and my family. That’s why we are moving to Arkansas.”
The Bulldogs compiled a 21-4 record, broke 24 school records, produced two All-State selections including the state player of the year and won Altus’ second state championship during Reed’s two years as the head coach.
Reed was hired at a Pearcy School Board meeting last night for Lake Hamilton High School.
“I didn’t seek them out,” said Reed. “They came to me, and I think it will be good for us.”
Lake Hamilton is considered class 6A in Arkansas. The current enrollment is above 900. The current football roster shows 102 kids out for football.
Reed takes over a program that has been successful in the past but has struggled in recent years. The Gray Wolves won the state championship in 2008. However, over the last three seasons their win totals have diminished. This past season Lake Hamilton was 4-7.
Reed said that he will be turning in his resignation today to the Altus School Board.
In response to the news, Altus Schools Superintendent Roger Hill said, “It has been a great two years with Coach Reed at the helm of the Bulldogs. We are proud of how far our football program has come in that time. We wish Coach Reed and his family well.”
An executive item on this coming Monday’s Altus School Board agenda is listed as, “Discussion of employment of High School Head Football Coach for 2016-17 school year.” According to Altus Public Schools Public Relations Director Amanda Davis, pending the Board’s approval on Monday, Todd Vargas will be named the new head football coach for Altus High School. Vargas is currently serving as the Defensive Coordinator.
Although Reed has also been serving as the Athletic Director, it is undetermined at this time who will take over the position.
Reed said that he gathered his football team and coaches yesterday afternoon to tell them about the possibility of him leaving. “Some were angry, some were sad, and some didn’t seem to care, but I wanted to personally tell them about it before they heard from somewhere else.”
Vargas met with the team and coaches today.
Look for a public statement from Reed in the Sunday edition of the Altus Times.
Reach Michael Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org