I'm hearing that East Davidson will begin interviewing candidates this week, sources say they'll interview ten coaches. I'm not privy to who they're going after but I've done some research of some area coaches, coaches I know that have ties to the area, and coaches I know would be a good fit and have come up with a list of guys I would strongly consider.
1. Marlon Morris: An assistant at Eastern Randolph, he would be among my top picks to succeed Coach Hanner. He's been the defensive coordinator for Jim Bob Bryant at Havelock, a coordinator at Brevard, and was the defensive coordinator for six seasons at Ledford so he certainly has the know-how, experience, and background to be a head coach. He played college football at Guilford and has roughly 20-24 years of experience. He also lives in Davidson County and played at High Point Central in the late 80's, early 90's so he knows the area, the opposition, and all about the East program.
2. David Hines: Has been the defensive coordinator at Southeast Guilford for the past several years, has been a head coach at Eastern Guilford and Chocowinity Southside as well as having considerable head baseball coaching experience. He played at North Davidson and has strong Davidson County roots and I know he's been looking for a reason to get back in the community. I coached with him at Douglas Byrd as well so he also has a very diverse background.
3. Charlie Gray: Assistant coach at West Rowan, Coach Gray is probably ready for another head coaching gig after his last stop leading Hopewell. Coaches that know him rave about his ability to connect with kids, he's about as authentic as it gets. He also brings experience from Mallard Creek where he was their OL coach.
4. Brian Billings: Offensive coordinator at West Davidson, Billings is a head coach type coach in an assistant role. He's a student of the game, knows X's and O's as well as anyone, and knows the layout of the CCC as good as any coach. Having been at West for many years and currently working for Bryan Lingerfelt, he certainly should know what it takes to succeed at East from day one.
5. Travis Billings: Current defensive coach for Kannapolis, like his brother Brian, he knows football as good as anyone and would be a helluva coach for anyone. Given that he doesn't live too far down I-85 from the school, he'd be among the coaches I looked at.
6. Caleb Pardue: Assistant at Walkertown, I've seen him out and about and have watched him gain respect as a coach, he'd be someone I would consider for a job like East.
7. Justin Allred: Offensive Coordinator at J.H. Rose, he's got Randolph county roots and he's proven he's ready for a head coaching spot. East Davidson would be the perfect job for him to get his feet wet as a head coach and put down roots and grow.
8. Anthony Timmons: Head Coach at Knightdale, he's another coach with deep Davidson County roots. I don't think he's looking to leave the 4A ranks, but after having success at East Montgomery and Graham, he'd be a perfect fit at East.
9. Sam Spencer: Assistant at North Moore, he's been a coach at Chatham Central for many years and in my estimation is certainly ready to step out and earn a role as a head coach.
10. Ryan Ochier; Assistant at Thomasville, he's been around several successful programs in North Carolina and certainly has the background and knowledge of the game to advance to the next level.
11. Marcus Hamilton: Assistant at Central Davidson, he's another guy that's been paying his dues as an assistant and is ready for the challenge of being a head coach. Having Davidson roots and knowing the conference, he'd be on my short list to interview.
12. Ryan Croweder: Former Salisbury head coach, I thought he lacked the support he was needing to really do a great job at Salisbury, I feel his style and approach would serve him much better at East, I think he could win right away.
Adding to this list, there are about half a dozen guys just on Ledford's staff that I think are head coach ready as well as a couple of guys on North Davidson's staff. I have to be honest, unfortunately I don't know enough coaches on the East Davidson staff to make an educated guess as to who could be promoted, but given their success and how typically guys there tend to stay a while, I'm sure they have a few guys who are certainly ready and have the know-how to take over.