Thursday, February 12, 2009
Dalton new coach at Calhoun
By JOEL McNEECE
Jeff Dalton has taken over the reins of the Calhoun Academy football program vowing to bring a new excitement and competitiveness.
“I hope to come in here and get people excited about football,” the 43-year-old Dalton said. “I want to turn this program around and stay here for the long haul.”
Dalton was born and raised in Oxford, graduating from Oxford High School. He and his wife Julie, a native of Water Valley, still live in Oxford and have four children ages 16, 14, 10, and six.
Dalton worked as a federal agent with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for five years in the Mobile, Ala., area prior to getting married. He then returned to Oxford to work as a stockbroker for 13 years while coaching every sport he could.
“I was getting burned out on that and decided at 38 years of age I wanted to go do what I had always wanted to – coach,” Dalton said.
He coached two years at North Delta Academy and has spent the past two at Marshall Academy in Holly Springs where he is an assistant football coach, and head tennis and golf coach.
He interviewed earlier this year at Tunica, but when they wanted the family to move there they decided that wasn’t the best fit. Then he found the Calhoun opening and contacted headmaster Sonny Wright.
“Everything worked out perfectly here,” Dalton said. “I’m excited to be here.”
Dalton said he’s familiar with the Cougars’ football struggles of late, but is encouraged it can be turned around.
“I believe we have a lot to look forward to in the future,” Dalton said. “We have a good junior high group and Coach (Charlie) Driskell has done a great job here teaching these kids football.”
“I’m going to bring some new energy into this program and get these kids and the community excited about football,” Dalton said.
The school is committed to playing eight-man football again next season, which Dalton is fine with.
“When the lights come on every Friday night, it’s just football,” he said.
The school will be able to return to 11-man the following year and will remain 11-man in junior high. Dalton plans to hold spring practices beginning April 20 and is hoping to have 15-16 kids on the high school team by the fall.
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