Two Poplarville head coaches out

Published 1:22 pm Tuesday, April 8, 2008

For the fourth time in just over a year, administrators at Poplarville High School are looking for a head coach in one of the major athletic programs at the school.

And this time, the Hornets are looking for not just one but two head coaches.

Poplarville athletics director John Miller confirmed on Monday that both head football coach Lance Mancuso and head boy’s basketball coach Luchious Moore are no longer employed in those capacities at the school.

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Miller said that both coaches resigned their posts.

“Lance turned in his resignation in order to pursue other career opportunities,” Miller said. “We are advertising that position and we will take applications until the 21st of April. We hope to name a new coach soon after that if we are able to in time for spring training.”

Mancuso, a native of Pearl River County, guided the Hornets to the Class 4A state playoffs in two of the three seasons he was at the helm of the squad. He also paced Poplarville to its first ever Class 4A state playoff win, a first round victory over Petal in 2006.

However, after the Hornets failed to make the playoffs last year, Mancuso’s off-season wasn’t much better as he was arrested along with his wife after a domestic violence incident at the school two months ago.

Miller said that he couldn’t comment on anything except the fact that Mancuso had resigned.

“We are moving forward. We want the best for the kids,” Miller added.

Miller said that a search committee had been formed and would conduct the interviews.

Mancuso’s resignation was the latest in one of the more active offseasons for football coaches in South Mississippi. The new Hornets head coach will be the 10th new football head coach hired in the six southernmost counties in the state over the past few months.

As for Moore, who not only replaced Miller after Miller was the head basketball coach for over two decades but was the defensive coordinator for the football team as well, Miller would also only confirm that he had resigned.

“We will deal with filling that job after we get a football coach,” Miller said.

Moore’s only Hornet team finished 3-20 this season.

Neither Mancuso or Moore could be reached for comment.

The coaching changes at Poplarville High began in early 2007, when then head baseball coach Cedric Smith was fired after being arrested for and later convicted of having a relationship with a student.

He was replaced by Pete Sciarabba on an interim basis, before Jimmie Agent was hired to take over the program.