TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
Just three days after the book was officially closed on the Whitley County Colonels’ 2013 football season, Jim Black’s eight-year tenure as head coach of the team also ended.
Following an injury-riddled season that saw the Colonels finish with a 1-10 record, including Friday’s first-round loss to Pulaski County in the playoffs, Black submitted his letter of resignation Monday morning.
The long-time coach said the biggest factor in his decision was that he decided he no longer wanted to be a head coach. Despite the decision, Black left the door open as far as a return to coaching after he has time to think about the situation.
“I still want to coach, but I’d like to take time to reflect on things a little more,” Black said. “My feeling is that I don’t want to be a head coach anymore, but I do want to be an assistant and continue to coach.
“I do love coaching and the last four weeks, since I’ve known I’d be leaving, have shown me that,” he added. “Although it’s been a tough season for our team, this group of kids has really made coaching enjoyable.”
Black took over the program in 2006 after Mike Campbell stepped down to accept the position of Athletics Director (a job he still holds) in the Whitley County School System.
Since then, Black has led the team to an overall record of 40-53, with his best season coming in 2008 when the Colonels fell to Highlands in the state semifinals. This season marked the fourth time in eight seasons that the team won three or fewer games. Whitley County posted winning seasons in 2008 (12-2), 2009 (7-5) and 2012 (7-5), and were dead even in 2010 at (6-6).
Granted the Colonels played a relatively tough schedule with opponents posting a combined record of 66-43, Black said the intent when making the schedule was not to have the kind of season that 2013 turned out to be.
“It was obviously never our intention to lose all of the games we lost,” Black said. “If we hadn’t had the mass injuries, I honestly think we would have won a few more games than we did.
“With that in mind, I’m not sure if a few more wins would have changed things as far as this situation,” he added. “I will give credit to my kids because they never quit on each other, or on the coaches, and I think that was a reflection of our entire coaching staff.”
Despite an overall losing record over the course of Black’s tenure, Campbell was quick to credit Black for what he’s done not only for the football program, but the district as a whole.
“I’ve known coach (Jim) Black for at least 24 years and I’ve never come across a harder working football coach, or any coach period, than him,” Campbell said.
According to a statement in a press release from the Whitley County School District, Whitley County High School Principal Alan Sweet said Alan Ysidro will serve as interim head coach until the position is filled.
“We will begin our search immediately with the goal of hiring the best possible individual available,” Sweet said. “If at all possible, we would like to have someone on board in time for spring practice.”