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Simmons Says - Tracking football search

There’s nothing like a coaching search to get the rumor mill running full swing.

So far, the WCHS administration has been tight-lipped about who may be the next leader of the Pioneers. A decision could happen as early as next week.

Todd Willmore, spearheading a football coaching search for the fourth time in a decade, confirmed there were 25-30 total applicants. He wouldn’t release the names, rightfully protecting the anonymity of some people who likely already hold coaching positions in the state.

There’s more than one way to get news though. I’ve been able to confirm a few people who applied. 

Matt Turner, who has been on the staff for several years, put his name in the hat. Turner already serves as the school’s wrestling coach and has interviewed already.

Turner’s passion for the game has made him a player’s favorite over the years. 

David Upton also turned in an application. Upton has been around the football program more since resigning as softball coach in 2014. Upton was the leader of the Lady Pioneers for nearly two decades.

Upton would serve as a strong link to past success, having been a player during the late 1970s.

Former Pioneer QB Michael Thrower is also in the mix, though it may be tough to pry him away from his current job. Thrower is currently serving as running backs coach at Lindsey Wilson College, where he played from 2011-14.

Already establishing himself as a position coach with some success in the college ranks, Thrower may choose to ride it out with the Blue Raiders.

Don’t expect to see Greg Cotten back on the local sidelines. Now the wrestling coach at Goodpasture, along with serving on the football staff, Cotten is happy with his current situation. If the job opens up again in the future – it will, undoubtedly – Cotten may try to return home.

Interestingly, one of the most popular names popping up in football talks is Thrower’s former coach, Chris Madewell. It seems the coach with the second-most wins in school history (22) is back in play. 

Madewell resigned shortly after the 2009 season, ending a six-year run as the leader of the Pioneers. Under his watch, Warren County had its best stretch of seasons in almost 30 years. Madewell ended a 20-year playoff drought in 2005 when the Pioneers went 5-5 before falling to Wilson Central in the postseason.

That’s just a small sampling of applicants, with some out-of-town names surely emerging in the talks as well.

Hopefully this decision will be better for the football program than the one made in November that kept the Pioneers in the same region for the next two years. 

We’ll see how it goes.