WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WDAM) - He played wide receiver and defensive back at Wayne County, went off to college in 2002, returned to Waynesboro in 2007 and has been there ever since.
Kevin Gandy enters his 14th season coaching at his alma mater and for the first time will take over as interim head coach.
The Alcorn State graduate learned on Friday afternoon that Wayne County principal Bubba Hathorn and the school board had approved him to lead the football program.
“It’s a dream come true,” Gandy said. “I’ve always wanted to be a head coach but never thought it would be at Wayne County, my home. I’ve been under some great guys in Marcus Boyles, Bobby Hall, Todd Mangum and Shelton Gandy. I got some big shoes to fill but I’m excited and I’m ready for the challenge.”
Gandy replaces another Gandy – Shelton – who leaves Waynesboro after two seasons and 16 wins to coordinate the offense of Region 4-5A rivals Hattiesburg High.
Coaching in a variety of roles the last 13 years, Gandy feels that experience will help him on both sides of the ball. He’s coached defensive backs, served as the defensive coordinator and most recently the offensive coordinator.
Playing for Hall and Boyles, Gandy knew early on he wanted to pursue coaching. He switched his major from physical therapy to education as a sophomore at Alcorn State.
On the day of his graduation, Gandy called then-Wayne County head coach Boyles seeking a position on his staff.
“I think the biggest thing I get out of coaching is I get to change a young man’s life,” Gandy said. “I didn’t have the best of things growing up. I had family support but helping kids that don’t have that support. I try to be a father figure to some of these guys that don’t have that in their life. At the same time, I do love football. I love competing and I love what it brings out of the youth.”
With the Mississippi High School Athletic Association’s approval to resume summer activities and athletics on June 1, Gandy’s eager to meet with the War Eagles and get to work.