Franklinton High Principal Lisa Tanner announced Friday afternoon that Stephen Burris is the new head football coach of the Demons.

The defensive coordinator at Franklinton last season, Burris replaced Shane Smith, who resigned in April to become the wide receivers coach at Southeastern Louisiana University.

“I knew Coach Burris was the right fit for us as a head football coach,” Tanner said. “When you talk about Coach Burris, you are talking about a Franklinton High School graduate and someone who has been on the coaching staff for 20 years. He is what I would say is an expert defensive coach. I believe he is the right person to continue to move our football program in the right direction.

“We have a high bar of success at FHS. I’m confident that I have hired the right guy to keep that bar up where we have been over the past several years.”

Smith also expressed confidence in his replacement.

“I think (Burris) is going to do great,” Smith said. “The great thing about Coach Burris is that he has been around the Franklinton environment, and now he is going to be able to make it even better once he puts some of his ideas into place. I have the confidence he will get the job done.”

Tanner also announced Jonathan Barber would take over Smith’s duties as the school’s athletic director. Barber will remain as the defensive backs coach of the Demons.

“(Barber) has been handling our athletic paperwork for years,” Tanner said. “He has a really good understanding of how things work. He is just going to step up in the role officially now.”

Tanner emphasized the importance of having two separate people as the head football coach and athletic director as opposed to when Smith handled both duties during his tenure on the Franklinton campus.

“It was important to me,” she said. “I wanted to separate the two positions, because a lot of times those tasks come back to me as a principal. That is why I’m designating two separate people so they can be focused on their jobs and the tasks at hand, because sometimes you get overwhelmed with one or the other.”