UPDATE 11:20 p.m., June 11, 2020: White River Now’s Gary Bridgman spoke with Coach Simpson tonight about the move to Searcy. Here’s what Simpson said:
“I feel Searcy is a good opportunity. It’s never the right time to leave a place you love, but really good opportunities don’t come along often. I’ve been torn and emotional about leaving. Yes, very emotional. I love the school, the kids, the administration.
“Tomorrow, I will meet with the Southside team. It’s gonna be hard and emotional for me. Then I’ll turn my attention to Searcy and move forward.
“When you have a boss, I believe you work for him and give it all you’ve got. I would go to the end of the world for my Superintendent Roger Rich. I personally think he is by far the best one around. He had the patience to give me time, to make mistakes, and keep working until we got the Southside football program in good shape. I learned so much from him and others in the administration. I think I am a better person and coach as a result of my nine years at Southside. I had so much help. It takes a village in football, too.
“I will always have a great love and respect for Southside — the school, the kids, the parents, the community.
“It’s going to be very emotional when I tell my children we’re leaving Southside. This is their home. It’s all they have known. Thank goodness kids are resilient.”
Earlier: Kenny Simpson will now be the former head football coach of the Southside Southerners. In a special meeting Thursday, the Searcy School Board named Simpson as the new head football coach of the Searcy Lions.
Southside Schools Superintendent Roger Rich confirmed the news early Thursday evening to White River Now’s Gary Bridgman.
“Coach Simpson is a fine man who is great with kids,” Rich said. “He built a solid program, and we will miss him.
“Coach is a graduate of Harding University, and he has a lot of ties in Searcy. He will do well with the Lion program.”
Rich told Bridgman that he is already getting calls and emails expressing interest in the position. He also said the school will be thorough in the search for the new head football coach position and will take a look at all who express an interest, noting the school will look “…inside the program and outside as well.”
Simpson has been the head football coach for the Southerners since 2014.
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