The Arkansas high school football world was shocked a little over a month ago when it was announced the Coach Buck James was leaving Camden-Fairview to become offensive line and associate head coach at Little Rock Christian Academy.
With the news, it was well know that a very good coaching job had been left vacant, and whoever got the job would be set up for immediate success. The Cardinals have played in multiple state championships over the past five years, and won it all in 2012.
The program has also produced countless division one and division two recruits, and have sent alum to the NFL. Needless to say, the job is an enticing one for many head coaches.
As expected, the job posting brought in numerous resume's from several quality coaches, but in the end, it was a local coach who got the job when Mike Cox was hired Tuesday night.
Cox, who has a 79-23 overall record has a head coach, previously coached in the Camden-Fairview program as the head coach of the junior high squad. He held head coaching positions at Class 2A Bearden, where he helped to build the Bears into a perennial power, and at Class 4A Hamburg where he turned a three-win team into a nine-win team in just three years.
Cox spoke with ArkansasVarsity.com about getting a job that he had applied for previously.
"I started my career at Camden-Fairview and coached 19 years there," said Cox. "I applied for the job several times before, but when you don't have any head coaching experience, you don't always get that kind of job. I went to Bearden and we did pretty well there, then I went to Hamburg and we got it going in the right direction."
Cox said that he had no intentions of leaving Hamburg until the Fairview job came open.
"I wasn't even thinking of leaving Hamburg until Coach James left Camden," he said. "We were 9-3 last year. We started with around 38 kids when we got there, and had about 83 out for spring football this year. Someone will walk into a good job at Hamburg."
When the job came open, there were several factors that caused him to want to apply for it.
"There were a lot of positives there for me not to apply for the job," said Cox. "All of my family is from Camden, my wife has family in Bearden, and we have a house there. Coach James did a really great job there, and hopefully we can carry on the tradition that has been built there."
While Cox is excited about getting the job, he knows there are some who may be worried about the style of football he will bring to Cardinal country.
"I know I have some naysayers out there," he said. "I am on my way to go talk to the kids right now, and I'm going to let them know that we will run a wide open spread attack. Now, if we have to bring in three tight ends and go smash mouth at times, we will, but we are going to be a spread team. I went and spent some time at Auburn this year and picked up on some things they run there, so we are going to run the spread."
Considering the success that Cox has had at both schools he has coached at, it is safe to assume that the Cardinals will continue their winning ways in the immediate future.
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