MIAMI — A replacement for Andrew Rice as head football coach at Miami High School could be in place within the next two weeks.
Athletic director chad Davis hopes to have a name to submit to the Miami Board of Education in time for its Feb. 12 meeting.
Davis said he had more than 30 applicants for the position, which was created when Rice resigned Jan. 16 so he could become offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Davis plans on cutting the candidates down to a top five or six to bring in for interviews.
Davis said there have been candidates from within the program and from outside.
“There is a very wide variety of backgrounds, guys with a ton of experience, guys with no experience and guys in between.
“For me personally, I had a short list that I wanted to contact. I reached out to those guys to gauge their interest and I am happy to say, there are two or three of those that are right in the mix and are excited about the opportunity to at least look at it.”
Davis planned on starting the interview process later this week and between seven and 10 days, hone in on a candidate.
“We fully expect to have a name at the school board meeting for approval at the Feb. 12 meeting,” he said.
Davis said he’s excited about the interest the vacancy has drawn.
Davis said MPS superintendent Jeremy Hogan, Miami High School principal Lisa Munson and assistant principal Kyle Baldridge and Wardog basketball coach Rusty Mercer provide the core group for the selection process.
The dominoes began to fall when Clay Patterson resigned after two seasons as Golden Norse head coach to accept a position with the University of Minnesota.
Longtime assistant Zach Allen was promoted to head coach and he brought Rice on board.
Prior to coming to Miami, Rice had been offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Bartlesville.
The Wardogs were 1-9 in Rice’s only season.
Miami dropped its first eight games, showing some improvement in certain areas each week.
Their only win came in Week 9, when they rolled to a 32-19 win over Vinita.
“Everything is in line for it (the Wardog football program) to really take off and where it needs to be,” Davis said. “We just need the right guy to lead the charge. That’s the fun part of finding that person.”
Davis said he’s talked frequently with former Wardogs like Steve Owens and Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Foundation, among others for input.
“We want a person with high integrity and character that is going to lead this program the right way,” Davis said. “It’s not just about wins and losses all the time. It’s about growing great people in society. I want the program run the right way and I want to win the right way.”