Southern Lab has narrowed its search for a head football coach down to three well-known local candidates — Central defensive coordinator Ken Hilton, Scotlandville offensive coordinator Marcus Randall and Episcopal defensive coordinator Jimmy Williams.

“We had 18 applicants and narrowed it down to a list of 12 we interviewed,” SLHS Athletic Director Rebecca Marshall said. “They all did well in the interviews. They obviously know the game and they all have ideas about what we need to do to move the program forward. We feel like we’ve got three excellent finalists.”

On Friday evening, Marshall nixed Internet reports that Randall had been hired for the job.

“No. That’s definitely not true,” Marshall said. “I’m not sure where that came from, but we won’t make a decision or announcement until next week.”

Marshall said Southern Lab Director Ronnie Harrison expects to announce the school’s new head coach early next week.

Hilton has been Central High’s defensive coordinator for three seasons and previously served as head coach at McKinley, Baker and Scotlandville High schools. Hilton earned The Advocate’s All-Metro Coach of the Year honors for large schools and small schools during his career.

The former Baker High and McNeese State lineman coached Baker to the Class 3A quarterfinals. He also served as a coordinator at Plaquemine and Redemptorist.

Randall, the former LSU and Glen Oaks quarterback, is best known as half of the “Bluegrass Miracle” play that is considered one of the top in college football in the last decade.

After LSU, Randall played defensive back and special teams for the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers. He was an assistant coach at Woodlawn High for two seasons and has served as the offensive coordinator at Scotlandville since 2012.

Randall’s older brother, former GOHS and Southern quarterback Eric Randall, is the head coach at Scotlandville. Eric Randall was a head coach at SLHS more than a decade ago.

Williams was a standout at Episcopal and Vanderbilt before moving on to an eight-year NFL career that included stints with the Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans. Williams was special teams captain for the 2006 Seahawks team that won the NFC West.

Before returning to Episcopal in 2011, Williams coached for one season at Maryland-based McDaniel College. Williams currently serves as assistant athletic director at EHS, which has made a series of deep football playoff runs.