TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Tupelo High School has hired Trent Hammond as its new football coach.
Hammond comes to Tupelo from Amory High School, where he served as head coach and athletic director for the past three years.
Hammond led the Panthers to the 4A North Half championship game in 2011 and a playoff berth this year. He's also been head coach at Franklin County, Water Valley, and Lawrence County with an overall record of 88-50.
The hiring was approved, 5-0, by the Tupelo Public School Board during a special meeting Wednesday afternoon.
"I was interested about seven years ago when the job came open, but I had taken a job the week earlier," Hammond told WTVA on Wednesday. "So I've had to sit back and look, saying that's a place that has potential to be a great opportunity for someone, and then when it came open right away, I said, many years ago I kicked myself for not taking advantage of something, maybe I need to make a call and try to get involved in this."
"One thing that I like just knowing about his past, he's good about attracting young people into the program," said Dr. Gearl Loden, TPSD superintendent. "So, sharing athletes, you'll have your soccer guys, basketball guys and baseball guys excited about playing football, too."
Hammond met with Tupelo players shortly after his hiring.
"He came in, (and) sounded pretty confident," said linebacker Justin Clifton. "I'm ready for him, we're all ready, we're geared up."
"Probably what excites me most is that he's a coach that knows what he's gonna do," said offensive lineman Levi Ray. "He has a plan that he thinks is gonna work, (and) he's a take-charge kind of guy."