For the second straight offseason the Wadley football team will be seeking a new head football coach.
Jonathan Farr, who took over for Ken Fordham after last season, notified principal Lori Carlisle late last week that he would not continue as the team’s head man. Farr will stay at Wadley as the school’s science teacher and will also coach the track team. But personal reasons and family obligations led him to step aside from his football duties.
“Coach Farr has stepped down by his own choice from the head coaching position,” Carlisle said. “After lots of prayer and thought and discussion with his family he felt like it was the best choice for him and his family to do that.”
It was the first varsity football head coaching position for Farr after he spent 11 years as an assistant coach at Sweet Water and W.S. Neal.
Farr still makes his home in Ashland and has two elementary school-aged daughters who have dealt with congenital health issues.
It’s not an ideal situation for Carlisle to have to find a new head coach for the second year in a row, but she defended the sincerity of Farr’s reasons for his decision.
“I would have kept him as my coach this year. I thought he did a fine job,” she said. “I thought he’d have a learning curve, but any time you do something new that you’ve never done before that is to be expected. He has a great attitude. So I did not encourage him to step down. That was something he came up with on his own, and I support his decision.”
Farr led Wadley to an 8-3 record in his only season. The Bulldogs finished as the second place team in their region behind Lanett and lost in the second round of the 1A state playoffs to St. Luke’s.
The timing of Farr’s decision gives Carlisle plenty of time to find a replacement, something she hopes to do in time for the start of spring practice in May.
“The effective start date would be at the end of the school year, but we would like to go ahead and hire somebody and name them prior to spring practice,” Carlisle said.
Since he will remain on staff at the school, Farr also expressed his willingness to help with the transition to the new coaching staff once his replacement is named.
Carlisle said that she is grateful that Farr will remain on Wadley’s staff.
“We love him,” she said. “My faculty likes him. The kids like him. He’s a great teacher. He’s a great guy to be around.”
Farr did not return phone calls seeking comment in time for this week’s deadline.