By CHRIS HOBBS
CATAWBA – After receiving more than 30 applications for its open head football coaching position, Bandys High will begin to narrow the field of candidates next week.
Brandon Harbinson, the Trojans’ athletic director, said in an e-mail response to an inquiry by HobbsDailyReport.com on Thursday:
- The school conducted interviews this week, as originally planned, and has completed those talks with candidates. No additional first interviews are planned.
- The process of beginning to trim the field of candidates and reach a goal of presenting a recommendation of a teaching hire to the Catawba County Board of Education continues.
“We plan to give a name to the school board within the next couple of weeks,” Harbinson said in his response.
Bandys assistant coach Kyle Lowman is in charge of the football program while the school conducts its search to replace Trent Lowman, who resigned last month after five seasons as head coach at his alma mater to become head coach at East Surry.
Kyle Lowman is Trent’s brother and a former Bandys wide receiver that played for his dad, Randy. Randy Lowman retired after the 2012 season and Trent Lowman replaced his father.
On Thursday, Harbinson didn’t elaborate on any other developments in the coaching search and did’nt respond to a question about if any of the current Bandys assistants were among those who applied or who received an interview.
In an interview late last month, Harbinson said he’d like to have a new head coaching recommendation completed within 30 days. Once the process is complete, a name goes to the school board for approval of a teaching contract (boards do not officially approve coaching assignments, as those are determined by each school’s principal).
In that interview, Harbinson noted having received 20 applications. He said although none of the assistant coaches had applied by then, he anticipated one or more of them would.
The current Bandys coaching staff — in addition to Kyle Lowman — consists of Jim (Goody) Goodwin, Eric McCombs, Frank Porter, Jason Barnes, Kent Millsaps, Bill Vaughan, Steve Hojnacki and Brian Ballard.
The open position was posted as open, as required, until May 3.
Bandys is in the market for a head coach to lead its 60th season of playing a full varsity schedule. The opener is Aug. 17 at home against St. Stephens.
Bandys was 5-7 last season and 23-35 in Trent Lowman’s five seasons as head coach.
“We want zero interruptions … as seamless as possible,” Harbinson said last month of a transition to a new head coach.
He said the school wants to hire a head coach who understands the football tradition and the student-athletes at Bandys.
“We want intensity, for someone to become a part of the community and high energy who can build and keep close relationship with the Optimist (football program) and the middle schools,” he said. “And we want someone who knows we have an exceptionally well-rounded coaching staff and who will appreciate the quality of coaches we have.”
The next hire will be the school’s sixth head football coach since 1964, holding a job previously manned by Dick Foster (1964-1977), Randy Burroughs (19798-1983), Tony Paroli (1984-1986), Randy Lowman (1987-2012) and Trent Lowman (2013-2017).