"I haven't met my first boy or girl, but our goal will be to win the division," said Pettit, who was recently hired to coach the fledgling programs at TCPS. "We haven't kicked a ball, but I'm looking forward to it. I'm excited about it."
Pettit, a 29-year coaching and teaching veteran in the state, retired this spring following a successful run at Pontotoc High School, where his 2010 and 2011 Lady Warriors reached the Class 4A state finals. He's also had coaching stops at Tupelo and Mooreville.
"I was never tired of coaching," he said. "I was tired of teaching all day, lesson plans and all the extra stuff required of you teaching school.
"It got to be more than I wanted to deal with."
At TCPS, Pettit will only coach soccer. "They called looking for a coach, strictly a coach," he said.
TCPS athletics director Aubrey Boren said in a statement, "We consider ourselves blessed to land such a great coach to help us launch a soccer program at TCPS."
Pettit is looking forward to the challenge of starting and building two programs.
"It's something new," he said. "At Pontotoc, we had to do some building. We got it on the right track. We'll see how it goes. Everybody's goal is to get to Jackson (state finals), but first you have to make the playoffs."
And to do that, a team has to win its division. TCPS is a member of Division 1 Class 1A-2A-3A along with Aberdeen, Alcorn Central, Mooreville and South Pontotoc.
Teams interested in playing TCPS this season are asked to contact Pettit or the school.
HODUM NEW HOOPS COACH
TCPS also announced the hiring of a girls basketball coach, Nathan Hodum, who has had a successful career coaching AAU hoops.
Hodum, 33, is a New Albany native and also serves as associate pastor at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in New Albany.
"Coach Hodum presented a well-articulated vision for our program," Boren said. "We are proud to have him on board as we move forward."