Person High School reached out of state to find its new head football coach.
Joey Carroll, formerly of Marion High School near Bristol, Virginia, was announced as the program’s new head coach during a press conference Monday afternoon in the school’s media center.
Carroll comes to Person after an eight-year stint leading the 2A Scarlet Hurricanes to a 48-41 overall record, including six playoff appearances and a 10-2 record in 2014.
The Virginia native sought the Person job after doing some research about the program.
“My wife and I sat down after last season and had some conversations and decided that we wanted something more,” Carroll said. “We wanted something a little bigger and something that offered more opportunities to do the things we wanted to do here. It was extremely enticing. There is unlimited potential here, being the only football playing school in the county and looking at some of the past results. There are opportunities here and we’re going to do everything to pull that out and get that going.”
Carroll was the choice of the school system after two rounds of interviews that included shrinking the candidate pool to four in the final stages.
“I think Coach Carroll is going to be good, not only for the football team, but the community and the school as a whole,” Person High School athletic director Jeremy Clayton said. “There were a lot of good candidates, especially in the second interview, but what set him apart was his previous success and that he already has a set structure and an accountability structure for players and coaches. That was something the committee was impressed by.”
Carroll was a
defensive player at Division II Concord (West Va.) University and spent the first six years of his coaching career focusing on that side of the ball, but spent the last seven years directing his team’s offense.
“Playing defense and coaching on the defense helps you to understand what the other side is trying to do and allow to happen,” Carroll said. “I think it helps you offensively, but I’m a football coach. If you take care of the things you’re supposed to do and do them the right way, you’ll start to see success.”
The new Rockets’ coach met with the team in the school’s cafeteria less than an hour after Monday’s press conference and passed out a workout schedule that begins Monday and continues through May.
“They need to know that you’re all bought in and committed and willing to jump in the water with them,” Carroll said. “We’re going to talk about that all the time. I’m OK if it takes time. I don’t expect them to buy in immediately to what I’m telling them. I want them to buy in to what I’m doing. I’m OK if they feel it out for a bit and give us an opportunity to prove it to the young men we’re coaching and asking all of these things of. Let us show you how committed we are.”
Carroll inherits the program after the resignation of former head coach Dave Kleine in early January.
The Rockets were 3-8 last season and missed out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year since joining the Mid-State Conference before the 2017-18 school year.