CHRIS MOORE — New PNG coach deserves community’s full support

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Port Neches-Groves Independent School District began a new era as the school board unanimously voted to hire Jeff Joseph as the head football and athletic director during a Monday meeting.

After the board meeting, Joseph took time to talk to local media in a scrum. He told reporters the community and support for athletics were the main reasons he was interested in the job.

A supportive fan base and community does not surprise anyone in this area, especially the people who pack the stadium on Friday nights.

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As with any passionate fan base, change is going to be polarizing. There are going to be people that want things to be the way they have been. That is understandable. The coach that left was the winningest coach in the program’s history. However, new does not necessarily mean bad. At one point, every coach was new to a team.

The hiring of the new coach was handled fairly flawless by the school board and school disrict. They brought in a respected name in Todd Dodge to help with the search. They assigned a six-person committee to present two candidates to the superintendent, who selected Joseph as the lone finalist.

The school didn’t have to go through the drama that West Orange-Stark went through, making the eventual head coach go through hours of people questioning why he was the right person for the job in a public setting.

The time to hold to the past has passed.

I know the passion showed around this program over the past few months will continue in a positive direction. There isn’t a fan base quite like PNG in the state, and I am sure the new coach will feel the support when he takes the field.

There is plenty to be excited about. PNG will return 16 starters from last year’s team that made it to the third round of the playoffs.

Jeff Joseph is relatively young, so if successful, we’re assuming he sees this position as a long-term job. He could be the face of the program for a long time.

Joseph cited the school’s rich history and tradition as the main reasons for applying for the job.

The expectations will be high for the first year, but every head coach deserves time to grow. Coaches, like any position on a football field, require time to get a feel and develop into their respective roles.

I wish the new coach best of luck and I look forward to covering his teams.

Chris Moore is the sports editor for Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at chris.moore@panews.com.