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Trimble County High School Principal Stirling Sampson introduced the school’s new head football coach to members of next year’s team Monday afternoon in the school library.
Chris Collins, a native of Whitesburg, Ky., and current head coach at Atherton High School in Louisville, Ky., said he is “very excited” about the position.
“Something I was looking for was coming ‘back home’ to a small town,” he said during an interview
with TCHS media student Larry Sullivan and reporters from local newspapers. “When this position came open, I was very interested in it.”
Collins played football for one year in high school and for one year at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro. Previously, he has coached at Tates Creek High School in Lexington, Ky., and South Oldham High School. He and his wife, Christine, and their two children, 4 and 8 months old, live in northern Oldham County, where Christine teaches second grade.
He has a master’s degree in special education and a bachelor’s degree in history. Sampson said Collins teaching duties have not yet been finalized, and that Collins may end up teaching at several schools in the district.
Sampson said he received 50 resumes and interviewed three candidates for the position, including Collins.
“His level of experience was unparalleled among our applicants,” Sampson said of the decision to hire Collins. “His passion to be an educator first is what drew us to him, his passion for teaching.”
Collins said he views coaching as “an extension of the classroom. It’s a way to be in a different environment and keep teaching students.”
He said his coaching philosophy comes from having worked in several programs. “Each place has its own identity, and you have to work with that identity. You can’t come in and change it, you have to mold it.”
As for coming to a small program from schools with 1,200 to 2,000 students, Collins said, “Football is football, no matter what level you’re playing at. It’s all about blocking and tackling.”
Collins replaces Johnny Poynter, who announced his resignation in January to take a job at another high school.
Former Trimble High School teacher Kirk Chism had been hired to replace Poynter, but resigned March 31, citing personal reasons.