By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
May 12, 2020
JASPER, Fla. (WCTV) -- The glimmer of Friday Night Lights in the fall is still uncertain, and months away.
But, in Jasper, the future is bright, as the circumstance of being named head coach was a long time coming for Kirkland Mitchell.
"I can remember telling my old coach in 11th grade, 'I'm gonna be the head football coach here once I graduate, get some experience coaching and teaching,' so [when] it opened up, it was a no brainier for me to apply for it and now, I'm the head coach here at my old school," Mitchell said on Monday.
Job number one for Mitchell? Provide stability to his alma mater; Mitchell is the Trojans' fifth head coach in four seasons.
He'll use an uptempo offense, a run stopping defense and lessons learned from his time with FHSAA premiere 1A power next door to bring Hamilton back to life.
"It helped me a lot. Tremendously," said Mitchell of his time as an assistant coach at Madison County. "From breaking down film to getting guys ready to play, Coach Coe does a great job over there getting his guys ready to play and he taught me a lot about football and taught me a lot about life."
Just like his offense, Mitchell is hoping for a fast turnaround off Highway 129, bringing the Trojans back to conquest sooner than expected.
"I think it'll be quick, quick as possible anyway, because these kids, they're excited. They've been calling me and texting me and saying, 'Hey man, we're ready to get started,' so I think it'll be quick as possible to turn this thing around," Mitchell said.
And while the Friday Night Lights remain glimmers for now, the call grows louder and Mitchell can hardly wait.
"I haven't thought about it yet, but it's gonna be a sight in here, everybody in the community, they're pumped up about it, so it's gonna be a sight running out of that banner."
The Trojans went 1-9 a season ago, with their lone win coming against Munroe.