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A few days after Neville head coach Mickey McCarty was introduced as the school’s newest principal, Sterlington head basketball coach Cory Emerson made a similar career change.

After spending five seasons as the Panthers head coach, Emerson has accepted an assistant principal role at Caldwell Parish High School.

“I got a tip about three weeks ago that the assistant principal position was opening up and I was encouraged to send my resume down,” Emerson said. “About a week later I was contacted by the principal to set up an interview, and after that interview I was offered a job about a week later. It came straight out of left field.”

Emerson pointed to McCarty’s move as an example of just how difficult administrative jobs are to come by. Coaches who are in their prime like the aforementioned McCarty and Sterlington principal Jason Thompson have made the same leap of faith.

“My own boss won a championship and then promptly moved into administration,” Emerson said. “That tells you those jobs are hard to get. If that window opens, you better jump through it because it may never open up again. Coach Thompson was very encouraging, and he understood the position I was in. He was extremely helpful. Anything he could do to help, he was willing to. And that made the process a lot more comforting knowing that my boss had my back.”

Emerson’s career comes full circle with the move back to Caldwell. He began coaching as an assistant at Caldwell Parish in 2007 and was promoted to head coach four years later. Emerson accepted the Sterlington job five years ago and made the playoffs in each of his last four seasons with the Panthers.

“It’s been a tremendous place to work,” Emerson said. “It was a difficult decision. I love Sterlington. I love the kids and I love the people in the school, so that made it a difficult decision. I met a lot of new people, made a lot of new friends and I feel like we accomplished a lot. We upgraded the facilities quite a bit since I’ve been there. We transitioned into 3A, which for basketball purposes is the toughest classification by far. I’m going to miss it here.”

Sterlington athletic director Lee Doty said Caldwell was getting much more than just an assistant principal.

“Congrats to Cory,” Doty said. “We wish him the best. He was always more than just a basketball coach. If you needed somebody to drive a bus or fill in for duty, he would do it. He’s a good man.”

No replacement has been named for Emerson.

Award-winning sports writer for columns and features since joining the field in 2013. As the first-ever featured columnist of the month at Bleacher Report, Martin cut his teeth with online media before joining the newspaper business in 2014.

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