By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
BELDEN – Shaune Holiday is an excitable guy and Tupelo Christian is excited to have him.
After a year as an assistant for the Eagles, Holiday was introduced as the new TCPS head football coach on Thursday at the school. Holiday takes over for Aubrey Boren, who stepped down after four seasons.
“Coach Boren has laid the groundwork for a successful program,” Holiday said. “But bigger than me is the guys helping me get this program where it needs to be.”
Grant Smallwood will serve as offensive coordinator. Deandre Eiland, a former South Carolina defensive back and sixth-round NFL Draft pick from Tupelo, will be the defensive coordinator. Former Ole Miss All-American tight end Rufus French, of Amory, will be on the offensive staff as well.
Boren will continue to be the team’s weight coordinator and Clay Anthony will coach the offensive and defensive lines. Holiday will focus on running backs and secondary, where he played at Tishomingo County.
“Today is about getting one of our major players in a driver’s seat,” said Boren, the school’s athletic director.
The 38-year-old Holiday was an all-state baseball and football player at Tishomingo County, where his 161 stolen bases is still second all-time in the state. He has served as a baseball assistant at his alma mater and at Itawamba AHS before. He’ll still be a baseball assistant.
TCPS is headed into its second full season of MHSAA Class 1A competition, going 5-6 last season.
One August practice goal is to find a quarterback after starter Andrew Soper transferred to Saltillo.
“He’s going to be tough to replace but we have kids here who can step in and fill that position,” Holiday said. “That’s the thing about football. It’s not a one-man show. It takes 11 on offense and 11 on defense.”
Holiday has developed a reputation as a motivator. He’ll have a small pool to pick from with a 465-student body.
Eiland has been helping Boren the past two seasons and is in his first full- time position.
“The kids here give you their all,” said Eiland, who played for Lou Holtz with the Gamecocks before being drafted by the Vikings in 2004. “It’s good to be able to teach someone willing to learn.”