Arnold A.D. updates football head coaching search

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - It appears as if the folks at Arnold are well on the way to landing a new head football coach.

In early March, the school's new principal Britt Smith and A.D. Rick Green made the decision to part ways with Josh Wright and go in a new direction.

After advertising the position in-state and beyond, Green says they are happy with the pool of talent they have to choose from.

" I've had over 70 inquiries on our head coaching job," Green said."This has been a nationwide search, and some of the coaches I've talked to and expressed interest in it, they've got me wanting to put a helmet on and I'm 62 years old. We've had coaches that have won two or three state championships. We've had coaches that have been to the playoffs in 24 of 25 years. We've had coaches that have played at the collegiate level, Division I, played Division I quarterback. We've had coaches that played in the NFL."

As for how they were able to get the word out beyond our region, coach Green says it's a matter of spreading the word via different professional websites related to high school athletics.

"We put it on the Florida High School Athletic Association site. We put it on the Alabama Athletic Association site. We put it on the Georgia Athletic Association site. Then we put it on a group that's called High School America, and High School America has a nationwide site. We got people from the midwest, to the north, and all the way down here in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. We have some great applicants, and I'm excited."

A coach could be named as early as next week.

"Britt Smith and I have kind of filtered it down to what we think is the best ten or fifteen applicants out of this group," Green added. "We've broken it down to what we think is a phenomenal group of coaches. We've got some people flying in for interviews, and we'll interview all day Thursday and then we'll sit and chew over it over the weekend and we'll have a decision the first of next week."

The Marlins' program is coming off a 4-5 season, missing out on the the playoffs each year since James Hale guided the team to the 2011 postseason.

The first priority for the new coach will be working the program through spring drills beginning in May.