PANAMA CITY BEACH — Arnold High School will introduce its new football coach in a press conference today at noon.
More than 60 applicants inquired about the position, which came open after former coach James Hale announced his resignation last season following 13 years at the Panama City Beach school. The field was trimmed to 10 for two rounds of interviews late last week. A five-person committee cut it down to three finalists, Arnold Principal Keith Bland offered the job to the new hire and it was accepted on Monday.
The coach will be Arnold’s second since the school opened in 2000. Hale left the program after guiding the Marlins to an 80-52 record, including two 10-1 seasons, and four postseason appearances. Arnold was 2-7 last season.
The new hire also will add to a list of mentors with minimal experience as Bay County head coaches. Mosley recently hired Jeremy Brown to replace longtime coach Perry Brown. Bay’s Jimmy Longerbeam enters his third season with the Tornadoes and Rutherford’s Alvin Dempsey his second campaign in Springfield in 2013.
Arnold will compete against county school Mosley in a revamped District 1-5A starting next season. The grouping also includes Bay, Rutherford, Gulf Breeze and Pensacola schools Catholic and West Florida Tech.
Football coaches in Bay County are hired to administrative positions. The starting salary with no previous experience is $58,514.