If all goes as planned Abbeville High School could have a new head football coach by Thursday evening.
The Wildcats found themselves in the market for a new coach when Chris Towery, after two seasons, tendered his resignation Monday to accept an assistant’s position at Westfield High School in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas.
“He’s coached in college and in Texas before,” Abbeville Principal Ivy Landry said of Towery. “Did I expect this to happen this late? No. I thought once we got through spring training I figured he’d be with us for one more year. Was it a complete surprise? No. Was it an actual surprise? Yes. I thought for sure he’d stay with us.”
Landry said the Vermilion Parish School Board had already received eight applicants through its website for the vacant job that could also include the athletic director’s duties depending on the qualifications of the applicant.
The deadline to apply for the position is noon Wednesday, and Landry plans to begin interviewing Thursday with the intention of recommending a candidate to the School Board at its monthly meeting later that same evening.
“Whoever gets hired, we’ll have a quick turnaround,” said Landry, who will begin his sixth year as the school’s principal this fall. “I’m sure he’s going to want to put in his own (offensive/defensive) philosophy. It will be interesting to see how fast we can make this happen before we start actual football. It’s right around the corner.”
A connection to the Houston area for Towery included a stint on the staff of the University of Houston as an assistant.
Towery’s two seasons at Abbeville didn’t produce the number of victories (1-19) the program had hoped for — defeating West St. Mary 21-0 in the season finale.
However, Landry was complementary of the work ethic Towery instilled and felt the program was headed for brighter days.
“I thought coach Towery did a good job of turning the program to where we saw a lot of positives in the culture, the kids working harder and in the attitudes of the kids wanting to be successful,” Landry said.
Despite the difficulty in recording wins, Landry said Abbeville has been able to maintain a healthy roster numbers ranging between 50-60 players.
“Numbers haven’t been a problem,” Landry said. “We’ve had a lot of good skill people. We’re limited in the number of big kids. We’ve run into an ebb and flow with a lot of skill people but we don’t have a lot of bigs. You have to have them in order to play football on both sides of the line.”
You have to have back-ups as well because they’re going to be injuries along the way.