Covering High School Sports in America
Football is in its off-season – is there really an off-season for football anymore? – but there has been plenty of coach news from around the country of late:

* Brooks Bollinger, who had been the head coach at Hill-Murray (Maplewood, Minn.), resigned to become quarterbacks coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Bollinger, the former Wisconsin quarterback who played briefly in the pros, was at Hill-Murray for only one season.

* Aloha (Beaverton, Ore.) coach Chris Casey also left the prep ranks for a college job, as he will revive a program at George Fox University that has been dormant since 1968. Casey was a ball boy for GFU when the team played its last season, according to The Oregonian.

"I told them, ‘I'm a Warrior forever, and I would never leave here to go to another high school,'" Casey told the newspaper. "George Fox approached me, I didn't approach them. In a lot of ways, it's a natural fit. It's the toughest career decision I've ever made, by far, and I've made some tough ones. But it's a win-win deal, to be able to coach here this year and then go."

Casey went 41-40 in eight seasons at Aloha. Before he took over the Warriors, they had won only 17 games in 14 years. Aloha won the Class 6A state title in 2010.

* As reported by The Tennessean, Bill Whittemore was hired to take over the program at Franklin Road Academy (Nashville, Tenn.). Whittemore is a former Tennessee Mr. Football (1998) who played at Kansas, where he was an All-Big 12 performer. He also played in the Arena Football League for the Nashville Kats.

* State championship game appearances don't guarantee job security, as Dave Ward from Archbishop Murphy (Everett, Wash.) found out. The coach, who posted a career record of 47-6 and led the program to state runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011, did not have his contract renewed, The Seattle Times reported.

"For now, I understand that I work, as a coach, from year-to-year. They could have replaced me, or any other coaches, any time they wanted. I'm not used to this situation," Ward told the newspaper.

* The coaching tree at South Panola (Batesville, Miss.) has a lot of sturdy branches, as three assistants recently left to take over programs of their own teams, according to The Panolian. Eddie Maxon will now lead Greenville-Weston (Greenville, Miss.), Eric Rice moves to Ashland (Miss.) and Jamie Easley will be the head man at Red Bay (Ala.). The program did welcome back former coach Trey Dickerson as offensive coordinator. He had been the head coach at Hattiesburg (Miss.).

* West Branch (Iowa) coach Butch Pedersen, who has led the program to three state titles, is retiring from his teaching position at the school to take advantage of his retirement options, leaving his coaching status in limbo.

The Hall of Fame coach has gone 246-60 in 29 years at West Branch, according to, and would like to coach again. But under the rules of his retirement plan, he cannot apply for a position until a month after his contract expires May 31.

"Do I plan on coaching in the future? No question," the 62-year-old Pedersen told the website. "I feel like I still have a lot of coaching left in me."

* Randy Jackson will remain at Poteet (Mesquite, Texas) after withdrawing as a finalist for the head coach and athletic director position at Denison (Texas), according to The Dallas Morning News. Jackson is 19-6 at Poteet, turning around a program that was winless the season before he arrived from Lone Oak (Texas).