Published 12:00 am Monday, February 22, 2016

King out as NP head coach, no reason given

By Myra Bean

North Panola has decided not to keep Derek King as head football coach, King informed The Panolian on Tuesday.

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He said principal Braxton Stowe informed him that the “program was going in a different direction.”

King said he and Stowe had been having conversations about the future of the football program and King had given Stowe the workout plan for the spring season.

He said he was told that the school wanted the head coach at the high school and there was no administrative place for King.

King is the assistant principal at North Panola Jr. High.

After going 1-9 in back-to-back seasons, King was hired in 2012 where he took the team to four straight playoff appearances. He amassed a 24-23 record for his first head coaching job.

During that time, 14 players signed national letters of intent to play on the collegiate level. Two signed with Division 1 SEC power school Ole Miss, Willie Hibbler and Justin Connor.

King has received an offer from Natchez to become its coach but refused in order to stay at North Panola.

Stowe was “off campus all day” Thursday and was unavailable for comment.

North Panola superintendent Cedric Richardson said, “This is a school decision we don’t want to talk about.”

He was asked, “You are not going to give people any answers?”

Richardson responded, “Not at this time.”

Carl Diffee, athletic director and offensive coordinator, was named interim head football coach.

Diffee came to North Panola the same time as King.