Bass named new Cougar coach

By ROBBIE ROBERTSON,

Newton County introduced its new football coach on Monday at a press conference at the school and it’s a name familiar to Cougar fans.

Bobby Bass, a former defensive assistant under Jeff Breland, was named the school’s new football coach and introduced to the public on Monday. Bass replaces Gene Mitchell, who stepped down because of health concerns after going 1-10 last year and 14-30 in four years.

Bass comes to Newton County from Brookhaven where he was the defensive coordinator for the Panthers, a team that went 11-2 and allowed 21 points a game on their way to winning the Region 3-5A championship.

Bass said his main concern over the next few months would be player development, all the way from the high school to pee wee programs.

“Player development is going to be the foundation of our program,” Bass said. “From weight room, the speed and agility program and developing them and giving them the best opportunity to be successful. We are going to coach our kids hard and are going to love them.”

Bass said winning games was important but not the most important thing.

“We want to win football games,” Bass said. “But it will be a Christ-centered program to make young men successful, not just in football but in life as well. We are going to set this up to be successful over the long haul. We are going to start in junior high and pee wee. We are going to get those feeder programs where they need to be.”

After going 1-10 last year, Bass understands that there are some things that need to be changed.

“I know there are some things that have to be fixed,” Bass said. “We are going to take a good, hard look at everything. Anything we can do better, we are going to do better. And the commitment from the administration is there. I think I am fortunate to come into a situation where everybody wants to fix it.”

High school principal Shane Phillips kept repeating the word “character” when speaking of Bass.

“We had 75 people apply for the job,” Phillips said. “Our committee narrowed it down and interviewed those 10. And then they narrowed it down to four. We brought those four back and took a tour of the campus and did another interview.

The committee picked four great candidates. We are excited about having him here and about what he wants to do.”

Bass worked for three years under former coach Jeff Breland, who enjoyed the most success in the school’s football history.

“He had been at Tupelo when he came here,” Breland said. “He is a very good coach. He has been a defensive coordinator at Clinton and Brookhaven, so he has the experience that you want. He is a good football coach and will do a good job. I’m tickled to death for him and wish him the best. He’s been there before and knows what it’s going to take to win there.”

Brent Maze contributed to this report.

 

 

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