High School Sports

‘This is a special place,’ new football coach says of Gulfport

Gulfport quarterback Tq Newsome keeps around the end during the game between D'Iberville and Gulfport, at D'Iberville, Friday, October 20, 2017. GHS announced Thursday it has a new football coach.
Gulfport quarterback Tq Newsome keeps around the end during the game between D'Iberville and Gulfport, at D'Iberville, Friday, October 20, 2017. GHS announced Thursday it has a new football coach. Special to The Sun Herald file

A familiar face will be leading the Gulfport Admirals football team in the future.

Gulfport announced Thursday afternoon John Archie will be recommended to the school’s board of trustees as its next football coach. He previously served as Gulfport’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach under Eddie Pierce from 2013-15. He was most recently Germantown High School’s defensive coordinator.

“I’m dealing with a lot of emotions right now, but I’m glad to be back at Gulfport,” Archie told the Sun Herald. “Gulfport is a special place. The best thing about Gulfport is the people of Gulfport. You’re going to have great people to work for and great kids to work with.

“They treat you like family, whether you are or not.”

Archie is a Madison native and a former Madison Central High Jaguar who later played at Southern Miss under former coach Jeff Bower.

In addition to working on Pierce’s staff — and Mike Justice’s before that — Archie previously served as Gulfport’s head track coach as well as the head coach at Gulfport Central Middle School. He also coached at Yazoo City for three years before originally arriving on the Coast.

“As the word spread that Coach Pierce was retiring, we were contacted by quality football coaches from all over the state,” GHS athletic director Bryan Caldwell said. “I believe this job is considered one of the best in the region. As we evaluated the various candidates, John Archie rose to the top of the list. Coach Archie possesses the qualities we’re looking for in a head coach. Not only is he an outstanding coach, but he’s a great leader of young men.

“He’s passionate about Gulfport High, he has a great understanding of winning football, and he connects with young people. I have no doubt John Archie is the right fit to lead the Gulfport High football program.”

Gulfport’s defense shut out the Hancock Hawks as the Admirals running game put the game on ice in the second half. The Admirals won their homecoming game.

Asked if he was married to any schemes on offense or defense, Archie said he hasn’t decided what the new-look Admirals will base out of.

“I’m only married to the success of the players.”

Archie replaces Pierce, who was 44-22 in 5 1/2 seasons leading the Admirals.

Pierce announced his retirement following Gulfport’s 21-14 overtime playoff loss to Meridian on Nov. 10.

“I’m headed into retirement,” Pierce told the Sun Herald. “Gulfport’s been a super, super great place to work. I coached the best group of kids in the nation at Gulfport. I couldn’t ask to be at a better place.”

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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