MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) Northeast Lauderdale received 60 applicants for its football head coaching vacancy and after a month of interviews, they found their next leader of the program in Maurice Gowdy.
Gowdy shared why he was drawn to the position, what he learned after meeting the team and how he plans to make himself known in the community.
Gowdy on why he took the position:
“Just being from here (Meridian), being born here I felt like it was a calling from God to come here and to have an opportunity to do something that I haven’t done in my coaching experience," Gowdy shared. "I’ve done everything. I’ve been a coordinator, coached on both sides of the football and now to have an opportunity to be a head football coach at a reputable school like Northeast Lauderdale and try to just build a dynasty, build some tradition and try to build some championship lives in and out of the classroom, I couldn't pass that up."
Gowdy on his plans to stay with the program for the long haul:
"When I met with the players, I could tell they were looking for the answer to ‘What are you going to do. Are you going to leave us like what has happened in the past?'” Gowdy said. "This will be their fourth time going through this process and it’s only right for me to ensure them that I’m here to build relationships. These are not relationships that we want to say “I knew Coach Gowdy” we want them to say “Hey, that was my high school football coach' and he cared about me so I'm here for the long haul."
Gowdy on building relationships in the community:
"I plan on visiting as many churches in the community as I can and attending different events in the community," Gowdy said. "I know I've got to be visible, meet parents, teachers and just be a visible person. I like people, I love meeting new people and I plan to build relationships by just getting out there in the community."
Gowdy comes from Pascagoula High School where he spent last season serving as the team's outside linebackers coach.
He is a graduate of Pascagoula and attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he played football from 1994-1999.