Panama City Beach, FL---Our area is going through yet another high school football coaching change.
James Hale, the man who built the Arnold football program from scratch, and the only coach that program's had for 13 seasons, is leaving that job.
Hale's record over that span 80-52, and along the way he's seen some 40 student athletes accept college scholarships.
While at Arnold, he's been honored several times as District and state coach of the year in his class.
So why leave, well it's been a tough year beyond the team's 2-7 mark. And simply put, the coach feels like it's time to move on.
"It's just time for me to go on, it's just better for me." coach Hale told us Thursday. "I think I'm going to be happier. And I think other people will be happier with me not here. So that's good. God has it planned out. And sometimes we might not want it to happen, but throughout my life things have happened, and it's always turned out to be good. And I believe that. If I didn't believe that, I'd probably have a problem. And I just thank those people, all the superintendants I've worked for, all the principals. I thank them for everything they've done, all the support."
Coach Hale went on to say he's most thankful for former Bay County A.D. Tommy St. Amant who always provided advice and guidance in a special way.
Arnold Principal Keith Bland saying today quote "We appreciate coach Hale's service to the school, he's a founding faculty member, he helped start the school. He and his wife Julie really loved Arnold and workd really hard in their capacities as coach and A.D.
We wish him luck in his future endeavors."
Mr. Bland says he'll lead a three person committee to search for a new head coach, they'll advertise the job through January 18th and start interviews the last week of January.
Marianna, Vernon and Mosley are other area schools currently in the process of hiring new head football coaches.