Seth Hayden takes over as defensive coordinator for Picayune

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 7, 2020

Seth Hayden will be taking over as the defensive coordinator for the Picayune Maroon Tide football team after serving as the cornerback and wide receiver coach last season.

Hayden has been part of the coaching staff since 2017 and over time has learned from former defensive coordinators Walt Esslinger and Ty Trahan in preparation for his new job.

“To pick their brains, learn and find out what they know, and then put my own twist on it that’s the best thing,” Hayden said.

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Last year was a collaborative effort from the defensive staff focused on game planning, breaking down film and coaching the athletes.

It’ll be more of the same for Hayden this year even in his new position.

Being in a new position doesn’t mean starting from scratch thanks to the experience he’s had over the years with the staff and athletes.

“I’ve game planned and called defenses as long as I’ve been coaching. I’ve been helping prepare for a moment like this. It’s not going to be that big of a change,” Hayden said.

Hayden has been part of a Picayune coaching staff that since 2017 has gone 34-8, so he understands the pressure of being part of such a winning program.

Hayden said those experiences will help him as the new DC and also help his athletes understand what is expected of them.

“I feel like I’m ready to handle any pressure. I have high expectations of our defense and team. There’s a certain standard we hold our kids to,” Hayden said.

Part of the standard is making sure the athletes are staying in shape during the pandemic.

Football is a physical sport and being in good shape not only helps with performance on the field, but also lessens the likelihood of injury.

Hayden said the work ethic of the players at home would have an impact on the upcoming season.

“That’s going to be the tale of this year. What kids have done stuff to stay in shape in the pandemic? That can carry over,” Hayden said.

Hayden said football could have a healing effect for the area given the hardship caused by the pandemic.

Sports could be a way for people to come together and be a distraction from the current situation when things are allowed to start back up again.

“I know it’s a terrible time, but once this clears up football will be great for community. I think it will really help,” Hayden said.