By Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel
FALKNER – Similar to Ken Byars, his fellow assistant coach at Pontotoc High, Ben Ashley had served as an assistant at several powerhouses.
Just like Byars, he also had spent one year as a head coach.
And this past week, Byars isn’t the only former Pontotoc assistant to be named a head coach. The 34-year-old Ashley, who had been the Warriors’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons, was named Falkner High’s head coach.
On Monday night, the 35-year-old Byars, the Warriors’ offensive coordinator of the past three seasons, was named Pontotoc High’s head coach.
“I’m excited about being at Falkner, and I understand there’s a lot of tradition here,” Ashley said. “They used to play some of the best small-school football in North Mississippi, and I want to get back to that.”
Ashley replaces Nickey Nance, who left after four seasons to take an assistant coaching position at Saltillo High School.
Ashley has 13 years of coaching experience, including one season as head coach of Rebel Academy in Hinds County, where he went 5-4 in 2002. He also has coaching stops at Eupora, Mississippi College, Amory and Aberdeen.
Not to mention, he was on the staff of South Panola’s 2007 state title team.
Ashley played football for two years at Itawamba Community College before spending a season each at Delta State and Mississippi State, where he was a long-snapper in 1998.