By Kedrick Storey
FALKNER – Quess Hood was a volunteer coach for the Falkner High School football team last season. This fall, he’ll be part of the paid staff.
Hood, 43, has accepted the job to be the next head coach for the Eagles, pending North Tippah School Board approval, according to Falkner Principal Jennifer Stroupe. The board meets July 10.
Hood replaces Cory Armstrong, who recently took a job at Pontotoc High School.
“Quess Hood knows our guys and he is a strong motivator,” said Stroupe. “Coming in late like this makes it hard on the players, and Quess was part of the team last year. The transition will be easier on the boys because they know what he brings to the table.”
Hood will be Falkner’s third head coach in the last four years, and it will be his third coaching stop. After earning a interdisciplinary studies degree from Mississippi State University in 1999, Hood served as an assistant at New Albany from 2000-04, the last two years as defensive coordinator under Ricky Bates.
Hood, who teaches special education, was part of the Ripley High School coaching staff from 2004 -2011, leading the defense, offensive line and linebackers. He was out of the sport for one year before volunteering at Falkner in 2013.
He said Falkner’s coaching vacancy presented an opportunity for him to fully get back into the sport he loves, although he turned down the initial offer from Stroupe.
“At first I said no, but then I thought about it and my wife and I prayed about it. Volunteering last year, I had one foot in and one foot out. I love the sport and I figured if I was going to get all the way back in it, Falkner would be a perfect opportunity,” said Hood.
“Cory [Armstong] and Ben Ashley did a good job here. They have the program in a good place. There are good kids at Falkner, and with the experience they have coming back I couldn’t turn it down.”
The Eagles went 7-5 last year to claim their third consecutive winning season for the first time since 1984-86.
“I’m excited about it. I just hope I can keep the success going,” Hood said.
Hood, a Eupora native, is married to the former Anita Goolsby of Ripley, an assistant principal at Ripley High School. They have one son, seven-year old Jasper.
Anna Lisa Powell of Ecru has been hired as the new head basketball coach for the Falkner Lady Eagles. The hire was approved by the North Tippah School Board last week.
Powell, 24, was an assistant at New Albany High School the past three seasons under John Stroud. She played varsity basketball at North Pontotoc, graduating in 2008, before playing college ball at Blue Mountain College from 2008-2011. There she earned a secondary English degree and a Master’s with a focus in literacy K-12.
“I couldn’t be any more excited,” said Powell. “It’s bittersweet leaving Coach Stroud, faculty, and administration at New Albany. However I know this position was truly a ‘God thing.’ I’m looking forward to what the season holds.”