“We were looking for someone that we thought would be a good fit for Winterboro,” Bates said. “We were looking for someone to take this program that has been successful in the past and take it forward.”
Originally, Winterboro hoped to have the position filled by February’s Talladega County Board of Education meeting, but Bates decided to slow down the process.
“We didn’t go through a finalist process,” Bates said. “We took information from what we gathered from the official interview from the panel. Myself, the defensive coordinator and the superintendent narrowed it down two or three potential candidates. We didn’t do any kind of formal call back, so I really can’t tell you who they are.”
Bates said there were 12 applicants that were interviewed for the position.
“We interviewed upward from 12, and we have just been giving it careful consideration and thought over a period of time,” Bates said. ”We didn’t want to make a hasty decision. We wanted to make sure we were making a good decision for the students and the community. We are still working on the process and we have some idea of what we want to do, but nothing is official yet.”
Winterboro former head coach Dave Nurnberg resigned in January, stating that Winterboro was not the right fit for him. In his lone season at the helm, he led the Bulldogs to a 3-8 season and a trip to the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 1A playoffs.
With the interview process complete, Bates and his committee are re-examining the applications and notes from their interviews to see who is the best candidate for the job.
“We are going through the information that we gathered through the interview process,” Bates said. ”In discussions we have with people, sometimes you call people back to verify things.”
With spring practice approaching, Bates hopes to recommend a coaching candidate to the Talladega County Board of Education in within the next few weeks.
“Right now, I am hoping that we have a decision made by some time in the beginning of April,” Bates said. “We have to start preparing for fall. We have to have spring training; the boys need to be hitting the weights. We have a spring game in May, so we have to move and make a decision.”
Bates believes once the process is complete, Winterboro will have a coach of which the students and the community can be proud.
“It has been a lengthy process, but I feel whenever we have it narrowed down and completed we would have made a really good decision,” Bates said. “We will be looking forward to great things at Winterboro.”
Contact LaVonte Young at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @LYoung_DHSports.