High School Sports

Gautier hires former Coast head coach to take over football program

East Central High School head football coach Marc High pushes his players, including Bradley Green on leg extensions before the 2009 football season in Hurley.
East Central High School head football coach Marc High pushes his players, including Bradley Green on leg extensions before the 2009 football season in Hurley. Sun Herald file

Gautier High School has its new football coach, and it didn’t have to look very far to find him.

Marc High has been elevated from offensive line coach to take over the program, the Gautier-Pascagoula School District announced on Thursday.

High replaces Chris Peterson, who resigned in November after going 28-39 in six years at Gautier.

This will be High’s second stint as a head coach. He served as the head coach at East Central for five seasons with the team going 17-37 from 2008-12.

“We’re just excited and looking forward to having him as head coach,” Pascagoula-Gautier School District athletic director Greg Freeman said.

High is in his second stint at Gautier after working there from 1998-2002 on Donald Nelson’s staff, giving him 10 years total as a coach at the school.

Following his stint at East Central, High returned to Gautier in 2013 as offensive line coach.

High served as interim head coach at Gautier last year when Peterson announced his resignation in November of 2016. Peterson was later reinstated on July 11 without explanation from Peterson or the school district.

Now that High has the job on a permanent basis, he will look to put his own touches on the program.

“We’re going to go back to the fundamentals, blocking and tackling and shoring things up,” High said. “It’s just a matter of playing well overall on Friday nights.”

High expects to draw on his experience at East Central as he takes over at Gautier.

“The first time you do anything you learn a lot,” he said. “You go back and look at certain things and what happened. You have to take the little things and how to deal with certain kids and situations. It’s not always about the X’s and O’s.

“It’s nice to come back to a place you first started and become head coach. That’s always a something a little special and we have great facilities to work with.”

High thanked Peterson for giving him a chance to return to Gautier.

“Appreciate Chris Peterson and what all he’s done here given me the opportunity to come back,” he said. “One heck of a man. He’s one heck of a guy.”

As offensive line coach, High helped develop some of the Gators’ better players in recent years. Included on that list are Southern Miss freshman left tackle Paul Gainer and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College freshman lineman Justin Scott.

High said there’s work to be done to determine how the team will change on both sides of the ball.

“It’ll be different,” he said. “We’ll correlate our scheme to the personnel that we have.”

High thanked Peterson for giving him a chance to return to Gautier.

“I appreciate Chris Peterson and what all he’s done here,” he said. “He gave me the opportunity come back. He’s one heck of a guy.”

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee

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