Friday, June 10, 2011

Hess headed back to Indiana, accepts head coaching job

Indiana native Alan Hess is going back home
Rocky Mount assistant football coach Alan Hess has one interesting to-do list in front of him.
  • - Pack a U-Haul and drive nearly 700 miles to a new town, Marenga, Indiana, this weekend
  • - Marry his finance' Jennifer Ignet on Saturday, July 9
  • - Take over as the new head football coach at Crawford County High School
Hess, 26, has become the fifth Rocky Mount assistant under former head coach B.W. Holt to become a high school head coach. Hess, who coached the offensive line and special teams at RMHS, will take over a program at a school that's been around for 35 years, but has only had football since 2007.

The former head coach didn't have any beginner's luck - going a dismal 4-36 in four seasons. The school, the only high school in a county of less that 11,000 people and one stop light, saw the coach resign after going win-less last season.

Crawford County Schools officials liked Hess, who is from Tell City, about a 45-minute drive southwest of Marenga in the southern part of the state. He heard about the resignation of the former coach in February and decided to apply for the position. 

About two weeks ago after several telephone conversations, he was asked to fly in for an in-person interview. He apparently was exactly what that they were looking for in a head coach.

"I'm nervous, sad, happy, excited, overjoyed ... about every emotion there is," said Hess, a social studies teacher who coached Gryphon football for three seasons and baseball the last two. "I can't thank Coach Holt enough for bringing me on here and all my coaches at Urbana (College in Ohio where he was a kicker/punter) for preparing me for this moment."

Things were more than a bit haphazard in the program last season. Hess says they employed the wishbone, the spread and the pro-I. The coaching was inconsistent. Players left the program during the season. In fact, only 18 dressed for the final game of the season. He knows changes have to be made.

And it all starts with getting bodies on the field.

When he returned to Rocky Mount from getting the job, Hess brought back a list of potential freshmen that might be playing next year. He's personally calling every player on the list to try to convince them to join the program. 

He's determined to do all the little things to build the program into a winner.

Hess, who played baseball and basketball against Crawford County in his high school days, is still unsure of a few things. He's not sure who will be on the team this fall, who will be on his staff and right now, he doesn't even know what he'll be teaching - social studies or physical education. The former head football coach is still at the school as the baseball coach.


Since 2001, 11 Nash County assistant football coaches have become head coaches.
Amazingly, six of them have been from Rocky Mount. 

Here is a list of those coaches:

Alan Hess, Rocky Mount - to Crawford County (Ind.)
Jeremy Jones, Nash Central - to South Creek
Chris Lee, Rocky Mount - to Louisburg
Brent David, Rocky Mount - to Winston-Salem Carver
Chad Smith, Rocky Mount - to Northern Nash (now Easley, S.C.)
Russell Weinstein, Northern Nash - Roanoke Rapids
Kevin Crudup, Nash Central - to Nash Central
T.J. Worrell, Nash Central - to Perquimans
Dickie Schock, Rocky Mount - to Franklinton (to Orange, now Rocky Mount)
Lonnie Custer, Southern Nash - to North Lincoln
Mark Hoover, Rocky Mount - to Chatham Central (to West Lincoln, now Central Davidson)

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