With the recent hiring of John Douglass as head football coach at Meridian High School, Northeast Lauderdale has promoted defensive coordinator Glenn Sanders to interim head coach.

Northeast Lauderdale athletic director Lewis Lightsey confirmed in a text message Wednesday that Sanders will take over head coaching duties this fall now that Douglass is at Meridian. Douglass led the Trojans to a 7-5 record and a berth in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs last fall in his only season as head football coach at Northeast Lauderdale.

Sanders said the staff at Northeast Lauderdale was aware of the possibility that Douglass would be hired at Meridian, and Northeast Lauderdale principal Tim Moore approached Sanders about the possibility of becoming head coach if Douglass were to leave. Sanders told Moore at the time he was interested and followed through on his interest when Douglass’ hiring at Meridian became official. 

While a coaching change in the summer isn’t ideal, Sanders said there are still high hopes for the fall.

“The kids have worked hard all offseason,” Sanders said. “We have an opportunity to be successful, and I’m excited and the kids are excited.”

Following an MHSAA-mandated dead week next week, the Trojans will resume summer workouts the week of July 7. Most of the focus will be on getting players fit and able to handle the heat of the early fall games.

“We’ll really hit it hard from a conditioning standpoint,” Sanders said. “If it’s a normal weather pattern, it’s going to be pretty brutal (in August). We have to be in the best possible condition we can possibly be in. When we’re able to start (fall) practice, conditioning is going to be really big. … We have to be in better condition than everyone we play.”

At Thursday night’s Lauderdale County School District meeting, Sanders said the interim label is expected to be removed, pending board approval. The Trojans open the season Aug. 23, when they host Meridian.

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