MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - After a 4-7 finish in 2018, Meridian head football coach Calvin Hampton has resigned as the leader of the Wildcats program.
"I appreciate my time at Meridian High," said Hampton in a phone conversation with WTOK. "I'll be finishing out my contract as the athletic department begins the search for a new head coach."
Hampton was hired to the position in February 2016 after Larry Weems resigned following the 2015 season after a decade at MHS. He graduated from Meridian in 1998, and was on Weems' coaching staff during his tenure as the offensive line coach.
Hampton posted a record of 10-4 in 2016, leading Meridian to the 2nd round of the 6A playoffs before ending the year with a loss to Pearl. The 'Cats just made the playoffs in 2017 following a 7-7 record, but Hampton and his team made an impressive run to the South State Championship with upset victories over Gulfport and Petal. Meridian would end up falling in the semifinals to Pearl once again.
The Wildcats came into 2018 with state championship expectations with a lot of returning contributors from last year's team, but Meridian couldn't capitalize off that talent in the second half of the season.
MHS started the year 3-2, before losing five of its last six games to end the 2018 season, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
"They wanted to go a different route," Hampton said. "This was my first stop as a head coach, and it won't be the last."
Hampton ends his tenure at Meridian with a record of 21-18, 11-10 in region play.