D-B moves into interview phase of football coach search

Douglas Fritz • Updated Apr 11, 2018 at 7:26 PM

Hiring a head football coach at Dobyns-Bennett is a unique opportunity.

Fred Walton took over the program in 1972, and the Indians have had three head coaches in 46 seasons.

So it may seem like the weight of the world is on the committee that will interview candidates Thursday and Friday. But Indians’ athletic director Larry Shively has a different perspective.

“This is a school I love,” said Shively, a former football player at D-B. “But that being said, I try to keep pressure in perspective. Pressure was watching my mom struggle to breathe 10 years ago as she battled breast cancer. Pressure is people fighting overseas to protect our country. But this is important to me, as all coaching hires are important.

“Still, I do realize the magnitude of the football position at D-B. It’s a big stage with a long track record of success.”

Shively said D-B will interview “close to a dozen” candidates who seek to replace the recently retired Graham Clark. Shively said all of the candidates requested confidentiality during the interview process with the exception of Joey Christian, who was the only member of Clark’s coaching staff who applied.

After the interviews are conducted, the committee — described by Shively as a panel of stakeholders, including administrators, faculty and coaches — will decide whether to select a coach or bring some of the candidates back for a second round of interviews.

The original plan was to have a coach in place by mid-April, but Shively said the school wants to take its time with the hire.

“We all agreed we don’t want to rush just to get someone in here for spring practice,” said Shively. “We just want to get the best possible person.”

Actually the interview process has already been in motion. Shively said candidates were asked to provide samples of their overall program vision.

“That gives us a sense of what the candidate is all about on paper before we get them in there face to face,” said Shively.

And if the interview process seems daunting, Shively said it should be an idea of what coaching at D-B is all about.

“Friday night at J. Fred Johnson Stadium, that’s something special,” said Shively.

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