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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blytheville hires Vince McCrosky as interim coach

Friday, June 29, 2012

(Photo)
In this Aug. 18, 2004, photo, Coach Vince McCrosky watches a former Chickasaw run upfield during a practice. McCrosky was hired Thursday night as the interim Blytheville head football coach.
"We've got the right man."

Those were the words from Blytheville athletic director, David Hixson, Friday morning. He was refering to the hiring of former Blytheville teacher and assistant coach, Vince McCrosky, as head football coach on an interim basis. The Blytheville school board approved the hiring at Thursday night's meeting.

"He's the perfect fit for what we need to do, without question."

McCrosky will fill the vacancy left by former head coach, Maurice Moody, who resigned three weeks ago after two years at Blytheville.

For McCrosky, who is originally from West Memphis, this will be his third trip to Blytheville. He was an assistant for former head football coach and former athletic director, Doug Quinn, from 1992 through 1997 and then again from 2004 through 2005. He has spent the last three years at Willow Springs High School in Missouri.

"I'm excited, happy and scared," said McCrosky who graduated from Arkansas St. University in 1992. McCrosky said one of his first goals will be to get more kids out for the program.

"We've got to get more kids out to play," he said. "I know we don't have a lot of time. So, in order to do that the kids have to see us out there and see me as a guy they can trust."

The timing of Moody's resignation put additional pressure on the new coach with the regular season just around the corner. McCrosky said he's gotten a chance to talk to his coaching staff but, because of the recent "dead week" period, he has yet to meet with his players.

"We're not going to change a whole lot, especially on defense. One of the things you have to ask about the coaching staff is, 'Do the kids like them.' The staff is young. I think that will help me a lot. I've been around a while and these young coaches will help with communication."

Much has been said about the Blytheville offense moving away from power running formations to a more wide open spread offense. McCrosky said he won't commit to an offense until he has a chance to evaluate the talent.

"I just don't know what we have yet. I've had experience with the Wing-T but we've opened that up a little bit recently. The offense we've been running goes out of the (shot)gun a lot. We'll have eight plays but 31 different formations. We're going to get the defense off balanced somewhere."

During McCrosky's first go around at Blytheville, he was teamed up with Hixson on Quinn's staff. This was a definite plus to Hixson when deciding who to hire.

"I know exactly what we're getting," said Hixson.

McCrosky went a little further in his description of his relationship with Hixson.

"We're the same guy," he said. "Both of us know that this is about the kids. Can we get another kid off of the street and help them with their future. This isn't just about wins and losses. It's not just about football. We can't lose focus. This is about helping young men. Everything else will work itself out."

Hixson concurred.

"When it's all said and done, that's what you base your decision on. In the high school environment, he's the best person with kids that I've ever been around.

"He's the perfect guy to rally the troops and get us going in the right direction."

With the two week "dead period" coming to a close, McCrosky said that he'll be ready to get things going on Monday.

"I'm tough, but we're going to have fun. We're not going to give any excuses. I'm just going to throw caution to the wind. We'll throw some spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks."

afitzpatrick@couriernews.net

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