Red Bay welcomes new head football coachPublished 6:00am Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I recently sat down with Jamie Easley, the new head football coach at Red Bay. He told me about himself and what he had in store for the Tigers this season.
Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
A: I was born in Louisiana. My grandparents adopted me and raised me. We lived in Mississippi when I was eight years old. I graduated high school from Bruce, Mississippi, which is 30 minutes from Ole Miss. I went to college for a few years [at Delta State], then both of my grandparents got sick and died, so I had a little quietus there; I had to take care of them. One of them had heart failure and the other had cancer. I got back in it and started coaching at Calhoun City and stayed there for seven years. It’s about eight miles from Bruce. Lance Pogue got the head-coaching job at South Panola and we new each other real well. He wanted me to come over to Panola with him, and that was a pretty good career move I thought. I stayed over there four years, and I had this opportunity to come over here. I’ve learned from the best I believe with Lance Pogue and I’ve been around a lot of good coaches and had a lot of doors open where I could visit with a lot of coaches in college and pro. I got involved with them and learned a lot. I did more listening than I did talking. I listened to them and got this opportunity, and I thought it was a real good deal for my family and myself, and I believe it’s going to work out.
Q: What did you did in your time at South Panola? What did you teach and what did you coach?
A: The first year I taught Economics and U.S. Government. Then Coach Pogue moved me to defensive coordinator and took me out of the classroom to have more time, so I did Driver’s Ed.
Q: Coming in I’m sure you were told that Red Bay has had a good measure of success over the past 15 years. Do you feel there is any undue pressure on you to have a great season right away?
A: No; absolutely not. One thing about being at South Panola is pressure. I’m not saying this is not pressure, I’m just saying that I’ve been in pressure situations. I’ve known that if we lose we’re going to lose our jobs. I told the committee here when we met I had no problem if I lose games that I could be fired. I had no problem with that. To me pressure brings out the best in everyone, or the worst in everyone. I want to continue the tradition, and I want to continue what Coach [Dale] Jeffreys and the other coaches in the past did, but I do want to take it to the next level.
Q: How do you take the success you had at South Panola and move it to here?
A: Just transfer it. Kids are kids. It doesn’t matter if they are in Batesville, Miss., or Red Bay, Ala., they’re kids. They love life. Pressure means nothing to them. Hard work is what I’ve heard from Red Bay and that’s what I’m coming from at South Panola is hard work. Hard work and determination will get someone a long way.
Q: What do you think about this being your first head-coaching job?
A: I really don’t think about it to be honest. Once you start thinking about different things, what if this, that and the other, then you start outthinking yourself. I’m just going to do what I’ve been trained to do. Lance Pogue’s the best at it organization-wise, football-wise and working with the kids. I have ideas that I might modify a little bit.
Q: What do you have in store for players this year?
A: I’m not going to rock the boat. It’s been going pretty good here, and I talked to the coach here and he has done an unbelievable job since coach Jeffreys left. I came in and I didn’t know what to expect, but he had them going like that. The worst thing I can do is come in and sat all right; you’re doing it wrong. That’s it. We’re going to do it right. I’m going to phase in and not rock the boat. If I see a little something that we might could tweak or change a little bit, then we’ll gradually start doing it how not only I want to do it but how the staff wants to do it. That’s how I was taught. I talked to several of the coaches, and in the whole scheme of things everything lands on me. If we lose they’re not going to holler at the assistant coaches. I’m aware of that, and we’re going to work hard. I told one of the kids I’m used to hard work. The kids at Panola, nobody has a clue how hard they work. These kids right here, I watched them the other day and they worked extremely hard. They’re yes sir, no sir. I’m just going to phase in, and we’re going to start going over some schemes of what we’re going to get into. I know they’re used to something else but we’re going to gradually work into that. We’ve got a spring game at Baldwin on May 11. We’ll get spring going and we’ll see how we stand up. Win or lose we just want to see how we compete.
Q: What is your coaching style like?
A: Laid back. I let things come to me. Then when it’s time to turn the motor up, I turn it up. That’s it. What I like to do is coach the kids and talk to the kids. I’m not going to sit out there and whisper; I’m going to get on them. I’m going to coach them and tell them what I want. If it’s not what I want I’m going to tell them what I want and tell them what I need. I’m going to get on them. I’m not going to grab them up and throw them across the fence, but I’m going to get on them. Then I’m going to reinforce it. I’m going to come up behind them and say do you understand why I’m upset about that? Do you understand why I got onto you about this? Then we’ll talk about it. If a kid goes home and he still doesn’t know why I got onto him, we didn’t do any good.
Q: What do you do when you’re not teaching and coaching?
A: I spend time with my family. My son [C.J.] plays competitive golf in Mississippi and Alabama. He plays in the Future Master’s down there in Dothan. He’s getting a little older, and we’re going to start getting more involved with it on the traveling part of it. My wife [Kerry] also teaches school, but she’s off during the summer also, so she’ll have more time. That’s what we do. We like to get away. Our vacations are him playing in golf tournaments. On the weekends if we’re on the offseason, we’ll let him play a little golf. We like to get away and relax, nothing extravagant.