SULLIVAN — When Andy Kerley resigned from Cerro Gordo-Bement, his football coaching career sounded uncertain.
Was he going to return at all?
He just put that to rest.
Sullivan-Okaw Valley announced Kerley as its new head coach on Wednesday.
Kerley said the job in Sullivan always appealed to him.
“I've been around it and never had a bad experience either as a player or an athlete,” Kerley said. “I thought it would be good for me and my family.”
Kerley, who expects to teach social studies and driver's ed at Sullivan, met with his new players the same day of the announcement.
“The community is very supportive of the athletic program and school, and I know the administration is very supportive,” Kerley said. “I've been there in times they had good teams and times they weren't so strong. They were supportive either way. That's something you look for in a job.”
Kerley expressed interest in the opening around Christmas break. It turned out to be a long process as the school tried to link the coaching opening with a teaching position while hosting postseason events.
"It was kind of a hectic deal for them and I understand," Kerley said. "They wanted to take time and get the right person. I hope I'm the right guy."
Kerley's coaching career spans 18 years, first becoming head coach at Shelbyville for one season before arriving at Cerro Gordo.
He spent seven years with the Broncos with four playoff berths and a 42-28 record before resigning this past season.
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Kerley replaces Gerald Temples, who retired after three years with Sullivan. The Redskins finished 3-6 last season after reaching the playoffs the previous year.
Now going to a bigger school with a bigger staff, Kerley said it was a move up.
Even if he may be competing in the challenging Central Illinois Conference, the veteran coach will have more tools at his disposal at a 3A program versus 1A Cerro Gordo.
“With a bigger school, they have more of an ability to alleviate stuff for you,” Kerley said. “That's one thing going forward that will be nice.”
He also noted that Sullivan already has a P.E. weightlifting program in place, so he doesn't anticipate a difficult transition.
“It's one of the more seamless transitions I've been involved with at this point,” Kerley said. “That's awesome. You're No. 1 priority is already taken care of and you're well on your way I think.”
LSA hires Stock
LSA promoted John Stock as its new girls basketball coach on Tuesday.
Stock assisted the program as a JV coach and varsity assistant under his predecessor and athletic director, Kurt Younghouse.
“He has been a staple in the high school program over the past eight years,” Younghouse said of Stock. “John is deeply invested in LSA and has worked with our younger players and has had success.”
Stock graduated from Warrensburg-Latham and played football at Millikin before transferring to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.