June 14, 2009
Adam Minichino - [email protected]
David Boykin is back at Caledonia High School to see if he can complete some unfinished business.
The Lowndes County School Board approved Boykin''s hiring Friday as the football coach at Caledonia High School.
Boykin, who coached Caledonia to 3-7 records in 2006 and 2007, replaced Jason Forrester, who resigned his position last month.
Boykin served as a volunteer offensive line coach last season under Mark Hudspeth at the University of North Alabama.
He will return to work as a social studies teacher at Caledonia High School.
"I think (Caledonia High School) is the best place in state of Mississippi to work," Boykin said. "There''s some ability out there. We just have to turn the corner and get things going in the right direction."
Boykin ran a spread offense in his two seasons as coach at Caledonia. In the first year while still in Class 3A, Caledonia lost four games by a combined nine points.
In his return to the school, Boykin said he plans to install a new offense that he didn''t disclose. The late date of his hiring doesn''t give him much time to implement that new system, but Boykin is confident he and his assistant coaches will be able to get things done.
"It''s always a concern when you miss spring ball, but the kids have been doing summer workouts, so that is good," Boykin said. "There is a lot of stuff they''re going to have to learn. They are going to have to learn the way I do things."
New Hope High School coach Michael Bradley said Boykin is a good friend of his and that he is pleased he is back at Caledonia High. He said the Confederates always were well schooled on the fundamentals, and he knows that won''t change in his second stint at the school.
"We had two knucklebusters against Caledonia (in 2006 and 2007) and we beat them by one point both years," said Bradley, whose team will play in Class 5A this season. "He is a lot of fun to coach against because his teams are going to be well prepared. He is a real good person."
Bradley knows from playing against Noxubee County and Amory that Caledonia will be tested this season in a district that includes two state champions (Noxubee County and Louisville).
"That would be a tough thing for the Dallas Cowboys, but coach Boykin is the kind of guy who approaches things in a very positive manner," Bradley said. "He will have them as ready to play every Friday night as he can."
Forrester, who worked as an assistant coach for Boykin both years, said Boykin is an easy to coach to work with because he allows his assistant coaches to do their jobs and makes sure the players and the coaches know what is going on.
He said it shouldn''t be too big of a challenge to transition from the conventional I-formation sets Caledonia used last season back to more spread sets this season.
"We still kept some of the spread elements in what we did last year when we would go to a more wide-open attack," Forrester said. "In the spring, we worked on fundamentals and the guy who was going to be our offensive coordinator was running through things with a spread mentality."
Boykin worked for two years as football coach at Central Academy in Macon and then spent three years as the offensive coordinator at Noxubee County before going to Caledonia.
He said he didn''t follow the program last season when it went 1-9 under Forrester. He said he plans to watch a lot of film to familiarize himself with the players.
Boykin said he learned a lot working with Hudspeth (now an assistant coach at Mississippi State) at North Alabama and is excited to be "coming home" to run a program of his own.
"I just feel like I left something here that I didn''t get accomplished," Boykin said. "Going 3-7 is not something I want to leave on the table. I want to be productive whenever I leave someplace and that always stuck in the back of my head that did I do the right thing.
"We should be competitive. You''re not going to go from losing to winning, but we can go from losing to being competitive. Our backs are up against the wall, but if the kids buy into it they will see results on the field."
Boykin replaced Jack Hankins, who went 27-45 in seven seasons at Caledonia. He led the school to its first playoff appearance in 2004 (6-5 record). That finish was the only time in the past 15 years Caledonia has had a winning record. The Confederates are 40-117 in that span.
Lowndes County School Superintendent Mike Halford, who didn''t interview Boykin, said the school has added a quality individual to its staff.
"It is not often in the public schools sector you have the opportunity to get a person with head coaching experience in high school and in college," Halford said. "I know he was very well thought of when he was (in his first stint)."
Halford said there was an English teaching position at New Hope High that was vacant that was transferred to Caledonia and converted to a social studies opening.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.