By John Balch
After accepting the resignation of another coach, the Dierks School Board hired a new head football coach and a new head baseball coach during a special meeting held on May 30.
Soon after accepting the resignation of Dustin Bissell, an assistant football and baseball coach who had been with the district for three years, the board voted to hire Jonathan Bates as the new head football coach and head track coach. Bates was hired on a 230-day contract per the district’s salary schedule for the 2017-2018 school term.
Bates, who will leave his defensive coordinator position at Paris High School to come to Dierks, was chosen from a list of 19 applicants.
Bates will replace Vince Perrin, who submitted his resignation mid-May after one season with the Outlaws as head coach and athletic director. Bates will not serve as the district’s athletic director. High School Principal Jody Cowart was assigned the AD duties soon after Perrin’s resignation.
The board also voted May 30 to hire a former Outlaw coach, Jarrod Fannin, who is currently employed by the De Queen School District. Fannin replaces the same coach who replaced him four years ago, Stephen Sprick.
Sprick, who served Dierks as assistant football coach and head baseball coach, has accepted a position with the Horatio School District where he will be an assistant baseball coach and the football team’s defensive coordinator.
Fannin was hired as head baseball and assistant football coach on a 230-day contract per the district’s salary schedule for the next school year. He was hired from a list of 10 applicants.
Bissell’s departure virtually cleared the sideline for Outlaw football with only assistant coach Kevin Alexander remaining, as longtime assistant Jeff Tipton recently had his request to be reassigned to the classroom only honored by the board.
The following are the other applicants for the head coach position (and their current or last known place of employment):
Matt Gonzales, Watson Chapel; Kevin Ball, Morris Okla.; Leonart Schur, Vernon, Texas; Jondavid Amerson, Sheridan; Tyler Biddle, unknown; Jerry Malone, Beckwith, Texas; Michael Coffee, Lafayette County; Lance Wall, unknown; Hunter Vincent, Parkers Chapel; Jason McClendon, Houston, Texas; Dayton Kitchens, Bel Air Middle School of Pine Bluff; Quion Brock, Sheridan; Clifton Davis, Crossett; Rodney Bagley, Calvary Baptist Academy in Texas; Lance Stone, Hendrix College; David Clark, Bearden; Ty Prestidge, Choctaw, Okla.; and Chris Burchfield, Pittsburg, Okla.
The following are the other applicants for the head baseball coach position (and their current or last known place of employment):
Mark Hill, Foreman; Chris Morphis, Hamburg; Jimmy Cox, recent graduate; Nathan Brewer, recent graduate; Joshua Fleming, Ashdown; Jonathan Booth, Locust Grove, Okla.; Caleb Garrick, England; Robert Coker, Clarendon; William Barton, unknown; and Chase Brewster, Genoa Central.