Former Mosley assistant takes over Marlins' football program


Josh Wright was named Arnold's second football coach in the 13-year history of the school.

Andrew Wardlow photo
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 04:00 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Josh Wright stood at a podium inside Arnold High School’s media center and spoke passionately about what it would take to create the “Blue Army.”

He equated building a football program with that of creating an army, one that can be formidable while also churning out respectable young men. Some of those building blocks in the mission include more focus on academics and behavior on and off the football field, community service and work ethic. Arnold Principal Keith Bland believes all of those traits and more can be instilled by Wright, who was introduced as Arnold’s new football coach on Tuesday.

Wright was the choice out of more than 70 applicants for the position, which came open when James Hale resigned after 13 seasons. Wright spent the past four seasons as head coach at Franklin County, where he tried to change a culture of losing and inferiority in the region at the Eastpoint school, which is a consolidated campus of Carrabelle and Apalachicola.

Wright made strides in that endeavor with 13 victories, which may not seem like much to an outsider, but was a good indicator of growth given how the program was winless for two seasons before he took over. Carrabelle and Apalachicola also had a history of prolonged losing where 13 wins over four seasons would have been considered a breakthrough.

“I’m thrilled and excited, this is a career opportunity,” Wright said. “I thank the interview committee for their endorsement and they will not be disappointed as to how we go about the business of building a first-class program here.”

Wright, 44, also spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Mosley from 1999-2009 and made frequent trips to the area while at Franklin County. His knowledge and ties with Bay County were only two reasons why he was chosen among three finalists. The other two in the running were former Pearl River Community College coach Tim Hatton and Bratt Northview offensive coordinator Ty Wise.

Bland and Wright became friends while Bland was employed at Mosley. Wright’s name immediately surfaced after Hale’s resignation and the murmurs grew louder that he was the favorite for the position. Bland insisted the search was fair and said his friendship with the coach had little to do with the final decision.

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