MABEN – Jimmy Carden wears many hats in Webster County and he may be putting on one more soon.
With that possibility, Carden has chosen to put one down.
Carden informed East Webster principal Bill Brand that he was stepping down as head football coach so he could concentrate on running for Webster County School Superintendent. Brand told the faculty and staff at the school of Carden's decision on Thursday.
Although the choice not to guide the Wolverines on the gridiron anymore was a tough one for Carden, he felt like it was the best thing to do in moving forward.
Carden has enjoyed his 12 years as the East Webster head coach, but doesn't want to stand in the way of the program being the best it can be upon the event he becomes superintendent.
"I don't think it would be fair to the kids to obligate the time it's going to take to try and do a good job of being the superintendent and be successful on that instead of being focused whole-heartedly on that football team," Carden said. "Those kids come in there and play football for six years. It's always been my opinion that everyone needs to be on the same page and working as hard as they can for the success of those kids for the time they are there. We expect them to work hard and we should work equally as hard.
"I don't want to hinder what they are doing and I want them to have the best possible opportunity."
Even though he won't be the head football coach, Carden still plans to fulfill his role as assistant principal at East Webster and will help in the rebuilding process following the April 27 tornado that destroyed the school's campus. He is also in the middle of another term as mayor of Mathiston.
Carden still cares very much for the Wolverines and plans to do all he can to assist them in getting back on their feet.
"I'll be pretty much in charge of getting everything ready athletically, get things built and going the next two years so I've got a lot to do," Carden said. "I've loved it all and I'm still going to be there. Those are still my kids."
Carden had a total of 105 wins as East Webster's head coach. Last season, the Wolverines finished 13-1 with the only loss being to Calhoun City 23-21 in the third round of the Class 2A playoffs.
East Webster had a mark of 12-2 in 2006 and played for the Class A state championship, losing to Puckett 38-20.
"He's the winningest coach in East Webster history and played for a state championship," Brand said. "Some people never thought we'd ever play for a state championship in football.
"He brought us a long way and we're proud of the job he did. We hate to lose him, but he's changing roles, but he's going to be around to help us build back and we look forward to that."