WATER VALLEY – A new Blue Devil head football coach was selected Monday night, April 7, during a school district board meeting.
Board members voted 3-2 to hire Brad Embry, a Calhoun County native, to lead the Blue Devils. Board members Cayce Washington, Dr. Steve Edwards and Lamar Burgess accepted the recommendation by Water Valley High School Principal Glen Kitchens and Athletic Director Gary Drewery to hire Embry from the field of 18 applicants. Board members Ray Hawkins and Taylor Trusty cast dissenting votes during a lengthy executive session.
“We are very happy to have this process complete,” Kitchens said about the decision. The principal reported the hiring pool was narrowed from 18 applicants to five candidates as the interviewing began. The whole process lasted almost a month.
“We are happy to have Coach Embry on staff,” Kitchens said. In addition to coaching, Embry will likely work in the science department.
Embry comes from the Tupelo School District, where he has spent the last eight years coaching. At Tupelo, he began as a wide receiver coach and worked up to assistant head coach and offensive coordinator prior to accepting the head coach position in Water Valley. Before coaching in Tupelo, Embry coached at Madison Central, tasting success in 1999, when the team posted a 15- 0 season and state championship title.
Embry is no stranger to the deep-rooted football tradition in the Valley. He recalls a past experience when talking about his motivation for leading the Blue Devils.
“I think of Water Valley when I played for Bruce against them during my 10th grade year,” Embry points out. That was in 1990, the year Water Valley fielded a state championship game.
“It is a great town, with great people, and I have a plan and will start today putting it in place,” Embry said in an interview with the Herald Tuesday.
Embry was in town Tuesday morning, looking at available real estate and preparing to meet with school officials, players and other coaches.
Embry said he plans working in Water Valley on a limited, but daily basis immediately.
“We have a new defense and offense I want to get put in,” the coach said. Spring practice starts April 28 and Embry said that while he still has obligations to fulfill in his current job, he plans on working each afternoon in Water Valley.
His parents, Bill and Gwen Embry, live near the Pine Valley community in Yalobusha County.