The Lauderdale County School District Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the hire of Calvin Hampton as new head football coach at Southeast Lauderdale High School.
Hampton previously served as head football coach at Meridian High School for three seasons before resigning last November. He accumulated a 21-18 record during his tenure and led the Wildcats to two playoff appearances.
“To the most high be the glory,” Hampton said. “It just comes down to being patient, persistent and feeling blessed to have the overflow of opportunities that I had. Southeast felt right, and I like the challenge. Southeast has always been a place that’s had players and has a community that supports the coaches and what they’re trying to do — the administration, everyone supports, and that’s big for me. I’m humbled, and I’m blessed by this opportunity.”
Southeast Lauderdale High School principal Russell Keene said he and the Southeast Lauderdale community are excited to have Hampton as a member of the Tigers athletic family.
“We are looking forward to working with and getting to know Coach Hampton,” Keene said. “We heard great things about his coaching abilities and can’t wait to see what he has in store for our football program.”
Hampton replaces Charles Black, who led Southeast Lauderdale for eight seasons. Black agreed to step down from his position as head coach two weeks ago and will remain on Hampton’s staff as an assistant. Southeast Lauderdale finished the 2018 season with a 3-9 record.
“We think highly of him,” Keene said of Black. “He’s a great guy, and he’s made a good impact on the kids. He agreed, and we felt it was just time for a little bit of a change. I’m glad that he’s staying on staff, and he’s going to be a real asset for the team.”
Hampton, a Meridian High School alumnus, was hired by the Wildcats in February 2016. He guided Meridian to a 10-4 record and an appearance in the second round of the MHSAA Class 6A postseason during his inaugural year. In 2017, the Wildcats finished 7-7 and played in the South State title game. Last season, Hampton and the Wildcats went 4-7.
“He’s made an impression,” Keene said. “Yes, we want to win football games, and that’s important, but at the end of the day, what we’re really here to do is prepare young men and women for life. And I think that’s where Coach Black and Coach Hampton will have the biggest impact. They're preparing young men for life.”
Hampton said he’s wasted little time settling into his new role.
“I’m rolling up my sleeves,” Hampton said. “There’s no honeymoon, no fireworks or cocktail parties. I’m jumping in ready to work. First things first, getting things together as far as staffing and doing things like that. The most important thing is the players — getting to their houses and getting them to know me — walking the halls and getting things rolling. We’re behind schedule right now, in my eyes. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get things going.”
Prior to his hire Thursday, Hampton said he held assistant coaching offers from former West Lauderdale head coach Stan McCain, who is now at Mary G. Montgomery High School (Alabama), and Marcus Rogers, head coach at Holmes Central High School. Hampton added he was grateful for their support and encouragement, and that of his family and closest friends.
“I want to give thanks to my major inner circle and the key members of my support system,” Hampton said. “Those are people who have been around me and know my inner workings and all the stuff I had to deal with and the moves. I have to say that I appreciate them.”