Teal stepping down at Poplarville

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 16, 2014

POPLARVILLE — After six seasons at the helm of the Hornets, Poplarville head football coach Chris Teal is stepping down.

Teal, who led the Hornets to the Class 4A state playoffs the past two seasons, has accepted a job as the Test Coordinator for Poplarville High School.

“It was a tough decision, but one that I just felt like was right for me and my family at this point,” Teal said. “It’s a terrific opportunity for me, just like getting a chance to be the head football coach was here six years ago. It’s a huge responsibility, but I feel like I am ready for it.”

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Due to Common Core requirements, among other state testing procedures, many school districst are creating a position for test coordinator or adding those responsibilities to current administrative staff.

Teal was approved for the new position at Monday’s regularly scheduled Poplarville School Board meeting. His resignation as head football coach is expected to be accepted at a specially called meeting of that same board Friday morning.

Teal will coach the Hornets in the spring jamboree tonight against host Picayune and Perry Central before stepping down.

“I’m proud that I was able to leave the game on my own terms, and that’s really a big plus in this line of work,” Teal added. “This is such a great school system to be a part of, such a great environment. I’m glad to be able to move on to another part of my career but remain in Poplarville.”

Teal, who replaced Lance Mancuso, said he feels like he is leaving the program in good shape.

“I thought we improved every year since I have been here,” Teal added. “We’ve made the playoffs the last two seasons, and that’s the standard here.

“But it’s not just football. Under the direction of (Athletics Director) Coach (Jonathan) Ray, all sports here at Poplarville High are in really good shape. It’s because of the coaching staffs and the players. I can’t say enough about the coaches I have had with me in football. All are outstanding.”

Ray said that the head football coaching job will be opened up to those interested, and that applications will be taken for two weeks before interviews begin.

Poplarville opens the 2014 campaign at home on Aug. 22nd against Raleigh.