May 17, 2009
MABEN -- East Webster High School is losing three coaches and gaining a principal in one man.
Bill Brand, who coached girls basketball and slow- and fast-pitch softball at the school this year, recently accepted a job offer to return to work as East Webster High School''s principal.
Brand will take over for Phil Ferguson effective July 1.
"I didn''t think the job would open back up in two years," Brand said. "I have enjoyed working for Mr. Ferguson. He has done a great job and has been a great principal to work with. It did and we decided it would be the best thing for me and my family."
Brand said he discussed the possibility of replacing Ferguson with Webster County Superintendent Jimmy Pittman on May 2 in Ridgeland after the East Webster High fast-pitch softball team defeated Smithville for its fourth consecutive state title.
Brand said he took a few days to think about the change and it became official May 5 that he would become principal.
Brand spent two years as a coach at Starkville High. He worked another six years at East Webster before he returned to Starkville for two years to work as an assistant principal.
Brand, 38, then returned to East Webster and spent four years as the school''s principal. He has spent the past two years as a health and driver''s education teacher and a coach at East Webster.
Brand said he wanted to make the move in part because it would allow him to spend more time with his family and his three children (two boys and a girl ages 10, 6, and 1).
"I am looking forward to that time and the opportunity to coach them in their youth leagues," Brand said.
The decision won''t allow Brand to coach any sports, which he said will be hard because he has built relationships with and helped so many players.
"I think the kids understand my decision," Brand said. "Right now I am fine with it, but as softball and basketball seasons get closer it probably will be tougher. I still will look forward to going to games and supporting the kids."
Brand said the coaching openings haven''t been posted on the Mississippi High School Activities Association. He said several people already have inquired about the positions.
Brand will do his best to make sure teachers and coaches know East Webster High is a great place to work.
"We have had a great run and we will look to continue that run," Brand said. "It is a family place and a great place to raise your kids. That played a part in my decision in wanting to keep my kids here long term and what was the best decision."
Brand admitted it might be difficult to find one person to coach all three sports He said the school likely will look for two people or filling the openings from teachers who already are on staff. He said the teaching openings for next school year will help determine how the coaching positions are filled.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.