Jun. 11—Ross Coley is finally coming back home.
After 18 years as an assistant coach at Warren Central, Coley has been hired as Thrasher's head football coach. The move brings the 1998 Mooreville grad back to his ancestral roots.
Coley said his family has lived in Northeast Mississippi for over 200 years.
"After 18 years, it's just time to get a little bit closer to home," he said.
He replaces Jason Allen, who stepped down but will remain as the school's track and field coach.
Coley, 40, has never been a varsity head coach. During college he was a volunteer assistant at Mooreville under Michael Bradley, and then he landed at Warren Central at age 23.
He coached the ninth-grade team for a few years before becoming offensive line coach for the varsity. Coley has coached running backs and special teams the last four years.
"I thought I knew some stuff, and then I was in there with people who had literally seen everything. That was eye-opening, and I tried to be a sponge as much as I could," Coley said.
Robert Morgan was winding down his remarkable coaching career when Coley arrived. Morgan won 168 games and two state championships in 19 years before retiring following the 2003 season.
His son, Josh Morgan, has been the head coach since 2010. A lot of former Warren Central players are now on staff, and Coley said it has a strong family atmosphere.
"I think it's different from what a lot of people have experienced," he said.
Coley is leaving that tradition-rich program to take over a Thrasher program that has seen very little success over the years. The Rebels' last playoff appearance was 1992, and they've had only one winning season since then.
"I'm coming into this with my eyes open," Coley said. "I know that they've struggled for most of the history of Thrasher football. I think the community is ready to change the perception of Thrasher football and what it means to be a Thrasher football player.
"I look forward to putting our stamp on things, which is to be competitive in everything we do and pushing players to not only be better players but to be better people."