Gibbs out as LaGrange football coach
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
When the 2020 season rolls around, someone new will be leading the LaGrange High football program.
Chuck Gibbs, after two seasons as the Grangers’ head coach, has been fired, and the search for his replacement will begin immediately.
“We’re grateful for his leadership in our football program for the last two years, and we say thank you,” said Mike Pauley, LaGrange’s athletics director. “As we move into the 2020 season we are going to go in a different direction with the head coach.”
Gibbs was informed of the decision during a meeting on Monday with Pauley as well as LaGrange principal Alton White.
While disagreeing with the decision, Gibbs said “that’s certainly their prerogative, and I’m not going to fight that situation. I don’t want the people that support me outraged and upset with the administration. They’re doing what they feel they need to do to take care of LaGrange High School. What matters is that we keep building this program. I told Mike, I told Alton, I don’t agree with it, but I respect it, and let’s move forward.”
Gibbs was hired before the 2018 season, and he was taking over a team that didn’t win a game the previous year.
The Grangers went 2-8 in 2018 and were competitive in nearly all of their games.
Hoping to improve on their win total in 2019, the Grangers went 2-8 again during a season where they were unable to overcome some costly injuries as well as a challenging schedule.
Gibbs felt things were trending in the right direction and was excited about the prospects for a new season, but he won’t be the one guiding the program.
Gibbs met with his players on Tuesday afternoon, and he made sure to set a positive example for them.
“I told them I’ve never been fired, but our seniors have faced an ungodly amount of adversity,” Gibbs said. “I said all I’ve been preaching to you guys for the last two years is about how to face adversity, now watch me face adversity, and watch and see if I model what I’ve spoken.”
Gibbs added that “my job is to model how to be a servant, and help the transition.”
Gibbs isn’t sure what he’ll be doing for the 2020-2021 school year, but he’s willing to remain at LaGrange High if needed.
His son Kale Gibbs will be a senior running back on the 2020 team, and Gibbs will be around for that regardless.
“I’m not going to miss my son’s senior year, watching him play football,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs would be willing to help out the new coach, if there’s an interest, and he’ll be at the school for the rest of this school year regardless, and he’ll help coach track and field in the spring.
“If I’m not needed I’m not needed. If I am than I certainly will do it,” Gibbs said. “I’m going to be here for track, and I’m still on campus. None of that’s changed. I’ll be around.”