After the school closed its doors at the end of the 2015-16 school year, the Jackson-Madison School System has announced that Jackson Central Merry high school will be renovated and reopened starting in the 2021-2022 school year and with that, the school is actively looking for a head football coach.
“The Jackson-Madison County School System is excited to bring back the long and storied tradition of Jackson Central-Merry High School. At one time, JCM was listed among the pacesetters both academically and athletically in West Tennessee. Now that Superintendent Dr. Marlon King has named his administrative team for JCM, the work of finding a leader and mentor for JCM football is underway. JCM alumni have high expectations for all Cougar athletic teams,” Jackson-Madison County Public Information Officer Greg Hammond said.
According to Hammond, JCM will ease back into football and will play a junior varsity schedule in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
“Although the first two seasons will be played at the junior varsity level, getting the right football coach in place will assist in reestablishing a culture of character and success throughout the school. If you have read the job description, you know this will be a position that is highly sought after. We’re excited to see this process play out,” Hammond said.
The last JCM head coach was Orentheus Taylor who headed the program for three years (2013-15) and the Cougars went winless at 0-10 in their last season in 2015.
Since the school closed its doors in 2016, the students went to other Jackson high Schools and have since went to the Jackson Central Merry Early College High School and those students wanting to play football have been co-oping with Jackson North Side.
Jackson Central Merry High school’s first school year began in 1970 as two schools in Jackson High and Merry High were consolidated into Jackson Central Merry and the Cougars were successful on the football field.
The Cougars made 20 playoff appearances (1976, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1991 in AAA, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2002 in 5A, 2003, 2004 and 2005 in 4A and 2012 and 2013 in 3A) and had an overall 22-20 playoff record.
The Cougars were the 1976 and 1979 Class AAA runner ups losing to Bradley Central in 1976 and Oak Ridge in 1979.
Besides the two runner-up appearances, the Cougars made the 5A Semifinals in 1994 and three Quarterfinal appearances in 2002 in 5A and 2003 and 2005 in 4A.
Currently eight schools in Cumberland Gap, Grainger, Jackson Central Merry, Lakeway Christian, Northwest, Ooltewah, Sycamore and Tyner are looking for a head coach.
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