Gann returns to region as Vardaman coach

Former Horn Lake football coach Larry Gann will return for a second coaching stint at Vardaman. (Ron Caldwell DeSoto Times)

Former Horn Lake football coach Larry Gann will return for a second coaching stint at Vardaman. (Ron Caldwell DeSoto Times)

By Gene Phelps/Daily Journal

VARDAMAN – Larry Gann has a pretty good idea about the buzz his hiring last week as Vardaman High School’s football coach created on social media.

“Here’s another old coach who the game has passed by,” Gann, 61, said, then chuckled. “Well, I haven’t missed a beat. The field is the same length and you still have to block and tackle to win.
“I’m excited about this opportunity.”

The return will mark Gann’s second tenure in Vardaman. He coached the Rams from 1979-84, before joining James “Booty” Sloan as an assistant coach in Clinton in 1985.

He will serve as Vardaman’s football coach and athletics director. He has worked the last five years as an assistant principal and associate AD at Center Hill High School in DeSoto County.
Gann’s last coaching job was in 2006 when he directed Class 6A – then 5A – Horn Lake’s football program.

Proud to be ‘coach’
“I had someone tell me recently, ‘I’m not saying you’re not a good school administrator, but you are a football coach,’’’ Gann said. “I take a lot of pride in being a football coach. They called me ‘Coach Gann’ when I was at Center Hill. That’s been my only title for 38 years.”

Gann has also made coaching stops at Chickasaw Academy, Baldwyn and Okolona. He started at Baldwyn in 1988 and left there in 2000 for Horn Lake.

He’s looking forward to his return to Vardaman, where he replaces Justin Hollis, who stepped down this summer to become an administrator at Myrtle. Vardaman’s principal, Porter Casey, played and coached for Gann.

“You don’t get chance to go back where you want to go and have people want you back,” Gann said. “I’m extremely excited.”

Gann will face a rebuilding job. The Rams lost their quarterback and 10 seniors. He has 10 experienced players who will be juniors and seniors this season, along with six freshmen.

“We’ve got a lot of evaluation to do once practice starts,” he said. “They’ve been successful and we hope to continue that success.”

gene.phelps@journalinc.com