Former St. Frederick head coach Jeff Tannehill will be named the new head football coach of the Neville Tigers, a source close to the situation confirmed Sunday night.
Tannehill could be announced as early as Monday by the school after former head coach Mickey McCarty makes the official switch from one of the most successful high school football coaches in the entire state to an administrative role with the Tigers.
McCarty will be announced as the new principal of the school Monday, which is a decision that comes after Neville High School Principal Christella Dawson announced her retirement on May 22.
“It’s an opportunity that just kept knocking on the door,” McCarty told The Ouachita Citizen in June. “It’s an application for an opportunity that exists with the school that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being at and making a career at. It’s the next big challenge that is logical for me to stay on the high school scene.”
Because McCarty could not simultaneously serve as the school’s principal and head football coach, a tough decision had to be made on hi spart.
Neville’s head football coach has had conversations in the past with fellow coaches who have made transitions into administrative roles, like Sterlington’s Jason Thompson.
“The timing was just right to take a shot at it,” McCarty said. “Yes indeed, it was a difficult choice. No doubt. I’ve enjoyed carrying the torch for Neville football.”
Tannehill, who served the last couple of years on McCarty's staff at Neville, will have big shoes to fill. Under McCarty as head coach, the Tigers made 11 semifinal appearances and never missed the postseason. McCarty is 197-43 at Neville and has won four state championships with the Tigers. There are only six highs school football coaches in the state’s rich history who have won more state championships than McCarty.
McCarty stepped into the head-coaching role at Neville in 2002 after teaching in the social studies department.
“If I happen to get it, I have enough peace to walk away from coaching,” said McCarty after he initially applied. “Not to say I wouldn’t miss it. I’m sure those competitive juices would be flowing on the sidelines.”
Tannehill led the Warriors to its only Div. IV State Championship appearance in 2013 and produced a combined record of 24-22 in followup seasons. Tannehill was named the 2013 Class 1A Coach of the Year.
His last season with the Warriors came in 2017. Tannehill also served as a head coach at LaSalle for four years, which included an undefeated regular season in 2003.
KNOE's Aaron Dietrich was the first to report the news on Twitter Sunday night. .