No teaching license blocks Oak Grove's football coach

No teaching license blocks Oak Grove's football coach
Randy Butler

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Oak Grove High School's plan of having a head football coach in place seems to be coming down to the wire with practice beginning Monday. As of Friday, the school does not have a head football coach.

According to Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith, candidate Randy Butler has not been approved by the Lamar County School Board.

Part of the reason behind that could stem from the fact that Butler does not hold a valid teaching certificate for the state of Mississippi.

We spoke with Lamar County Superintendent Tess Smith who commented on the current status of Butler.

"He has been board approved as a substitute teacher and the offer was made for the head coaching position at Oak Grove High School a while back, but I have not been able to put him before the board for a vote at this time," Smith said.

According to the Mississippi Department of Education website, Butler is not listed as a certified as a teacher.

The Mississippi High School Activities Association states in their (Para-Professional Procedures) that "No school shall be permitted to use a coach unless he/she is a full-time certified employee of the school system."

"We can allow non-certified staff to act as care professionals to assist with the team, but in order to be the, the head coach has to be a certified Mississippi license holder," said Smith.

Smith says Butler is working diligently to get his his license, but does not know the current status of that process.

Butler spent the past seven seasons at Troy University as a defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. Before that he was an assistant coach at Southern Miss for 17 seasons where he served in various positions, such as; tight ends coach, defensive line coach, associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Golden Eagles.

Before landing at Southern Miss, Butler spent a year as an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Narvarro Junior College in Texas, four seasons at Tulane, a year at Mississippi Delta Community College and four seasons at SMU.

Butler has been on track to replace former head coach Nevil Barr, who retired in May after 14 seasons with the Warriors.

The Warriors are set to begin practice next week, and school board is set to meet Monday morning at 8 a.m.