By Tony Tsoukalas / Sports Writer
The Meridian Star
East Central Community College has elected not to retain head football coach Brian Anderson for the 2013 season, ECCC President Billy W. Stewart announced Tuesday.
According to school reports, Stewart made the announcement following Tuesday's meeting of the college's board of trustees, which approved the change in leadership for the program.
“We have decided to go in a different direction with our football program effective today (December 4, 2012),” Stewart said. “Brian Anderson will be reassigned to other duties at the College until his contract expires on June 30, 2013. We thank Brian for his five years of service to the East Central football team.”
Anderson led the Warriors to a 9-27 record during his four years as head coach. He was named head coach on an interim basis in 2009, when the Warriors went 2-7. After posting 2-7 season in 2010 and 2011, ECCC finished the past season 3-6.
“I'd like to thank East Central for the opportunity to serve as head football coach,” Anderson said. “The kids that we have recruited and the coaches I have worked along side for several years have been a joy to be around. I have met a lot of great people during my time at East Central.
“As coaches, we are stubborn, and we want to do things people say can't be done. East Central is a place where we wanted to turn the tide and try to build a winning tradition there. Things just didn't work out.”
Anderson was not given a chance to break the news to his former players, as the school has asked him not to speak with the team at this time.
“The school thought it would be in the best interest for me not to speak with the team,” Anderson said. “I would like to, at some point, be allowed to address the team.”
Anderson said he was not surprised and said the decision was mutual in order to allow the school to find a replacement and continue its recruiting for the upcoming season.
The native of Prattville, Ala., Anderson is a former assistant at Neshoba Central High School from 1996-97 and at Meridian in 1999-2003. The former head coach said he will now take time to consult with his family before deciding on his future.
“It is really what is best for my family and I,” Anderson said. “That is something that everybody says, but I mean it. Every move that we make, we make for our children first. This is a decision that will be prayed over, and God will put us where he wants us.”
According to a school report, applications for a new football coach will be received until Dec. 26. A committee headed by athletic director Chris Harris will interview candidates and submit a recommendation for consideration.
“I am confident that several qualified candidates will be interested in leading the Warrior football team as we strive for excellence in the classroom and on the field of play,” Stewart said. “We hope to name a new head football coach in January 2013 and present that recommendation for ratification by the College’s Board of Trustees at their February 2013 meeting. We then look forward to working with the new coach and our student-athletes to move our program forward and achieve great things both academically and athletically.”