Jerome Griffin has been hired as the new head football coach at Wooddale but the reason that Darren Stevens is no longer the Cardinal coach is more puzzling then ever, even for Memphis standards.
Stevens was hired late in the process last July and the Cardinals went 2-8 on the season. A month ago he was told by first year Wooddale principal Otis Clayton that he would have to reapply and interview again for his job as football coach.
After being interviewed nothing was said to Stevens until he saw a flyer hanging in the halls that was promoting a meet and greet with three new head coaches for the 2016-17 season on March 17 at Wooddale.
The flyer had a picture of new girls basketball coach Edith Clark, new boys basketball coach Arthur Cheers and new head football coach Jerome Griffin. That’s right Stevens found out he was no longer the head football coach because he saw a flyer not because he was told by the Wooddale administration.
Here is the picture of the flyer
“I think the process and the way it was done is the wrong way to do things,” Stevens said. “It’s not very professional and to not to be given a reason why I was let go is really the thing that bugs me the most.”
“It’s going to be really hard for any coach to win over here if that’s the way they do business and that’s how they treat coaches. I felt we were making strides and we upgraded a lot of things in the program and to have that taken away is absolutely ridiculous.”
Two weeks later, Stevens still has not been given a reason by Clayton why he was fired as head football coach at Wooddale.
“I have no comment at this time,” Clayton said when asked on the departure of Stevens and the hiring of Griffin.
Before becoming the head coach, Stevens served as an assistant coach the last two seasons at Wooddale being the offensive coordinator in 2014. Despite the 2-8 record, the Cardinal offense was record setting the junior duo of quarterback Jerry Craine and wide receiver Andre Golden both broke the Shelby County passing and receiving records.
Craine passed for 3,494 yards and 27 touchdowns and was named a Class 5A Mr. Football Back Semifinalist while Golden caught 78 passes for 1,450 yards and 14 touchdowns.
This will be Griffin’s third head coaching job as he served as Sheffield’s head coach for eight seasons (2003-10) and led the Knights to a 50-41 record and seven playoff appearances including six consecutive trips (2005-2010). He then served as Hamilton’s head coach for four seasons (2011-14) going 19-25 overall but leading Hamilton to back to back playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012.
Griffin spent last season over at Ridgeway as he coached the Roadrunners wide receivers.
“I had a great season over at Ridgeway and it reaffirmed my desire to be a head coach again,” Griffin said. “I think this is a chance to build a good program and I’m excited.”
There are nine schools that are currently looking for a head coach they are: Jefferson County, Dyer County, Stewart County, Antioch, Howard, Sheffield, East Hickman, Jackson North side and Westwood.
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