Darryl Carter hates he’s leaving Tupelo, but he’s excited about his new job.
Carter, 31, Tupelo High School’s wide receivers coach the last five years, will be the new head football coach this season for Kemper County High School in DeKalb.
“I got my certification finished and I’ve been surfing around looking for a job,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting this. It’s a blessing.”
Carter, who was to coach defensive backs for the Golden Wave this season, said his first priority is his family. That’s why he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to move south.
“My time in Tupelo has been great,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for more. I learned a lot.”
Carter tutored three of the state’s top wide receivers last season in Mississippi State signee Chad Bumphis and Itawamba Community College signees Garrian Heard and Justin Bean.
“This is a big loss, especially this time of year,” Tupelo head coach Eric Collins said. “We’re going to miss him. He did a great job for us.”
Collins said Carter’s replacement would likely come from within the system.
Carter knows he’ll be challenged at Kemper County, a Class 3A school that finished 2-8 last season.
“We’re going to start at the bottom,” Carter said. “I’ve studied film and we’re going to coach them up on the fundamentals.
“They’ve got a great group of kids down there. I’m excited about getting the opportunity to go down there and work with them.”
Area football fans remember Carter, a University of Louisiana-Monroe graduate and a Jones County native, from his indoor professional football playing days as a wide receiver for the Tupelo FireAnts and the Mississippi MudCats.
He was a player/coach last season for the MudCats.
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal