The Daleville High School football coaching search has come to a close as the Daleville Board of Education voted to promote interim coach Desmond Lett as the permanent head football coach on Wednesday, June 12.
Joining Lett on the staff will be former Carroll assistant baseball coach Justin Hendrix and former Cottonwood softball coach Scott Parker, as both were also hired at the board meeting to take over the baseball and softball programs respectively along with serving as assistant coaches on the football team.
Lett was named interim coach of the football program after former coach Trey Woolf resigned during spring practices in early May. Early in the coaching search, Daleville principal Josh Robertson said that one of the things he was looking for in a coach was stability as Daleville has gone through four coaches in the last four years.
“Coach Lett has been on our staff and a part of our school for going on five years now and he has a rapport with the kids,” Robertson said. “They respect him and he holds them accountable. He’s done a phenomenal job with our softball team and getting that program in the direction it needs to be and we believe he’ll be a great fit for the football program.”
Lett – a former Geneva County football star – came to Daleville as a coaching intern after graduating from Troy in 2014 and first served as junior high head coach and then defensive backs coach and eventually offensive coordinator this past season.
“I’m super excited for the opportunity to lead the Daleville (football) program,” Lett said after the announcement. “I think I’ll bring a high energy (to the team) and I feel like I can relate to them a little better.
“I feel like one thing I’ll definitely bring is getting our numbers up, getting more kids out on the field.”
Lett that said getting more players on the team would be a big focal point for him and something he has already began working on, but the Warhawks will also be working on finishing strong in the summer. Finishing is something that Lett said that his team has been concentrating on since last season ended, after Daleville lost a three touchdown lead in the playoffs to Leroy.
“We preached all spring about finishing and we’ll continue that in the summer,” Lett emphasized. “We have to start fast but we also have to finish strong.”
Along with serving as an assistant coach for the past four years at Daleville, Lett has also served as head softball coach the past two seasons. Now, that role will fall to Parker, who is a 10-year head coaching veteran.
“Coach Parker’s softball record is very strong and we’re really excited to get him on our staff,” Robertson said. “He’s also a very solid offensive line coach (in football) and a really great teacher.
“When people tell you that a coach is also a really good teacher you know they are a well-rounded person.”
Parker will coach the offensive line on the football field and will teach history in the classroom, as well. Parker has been a softball coach at Carroll, Headland, New Brockton and Cottonwood over the past 10 years and has won four area championships along with three Elite 8 appearances in those 10 years.
After three consecutive area championships at Headland and New Brockton, Parker was hired by Cottonwood in 2016 where he remained until the end of this past season.
Hendrix will be filling the holes left in the Daleville athletic program after the departure of Barry Gardner during baseball season. Gardner was the head baseball coach but also the defensive coordinator for the football team. Hendrix will take over both roles.
“Coach Hendrix is a young guy in years of experience but he’s also a military veteran and has a lot of experience as an assistant and playing experience,” Robertson said. “He’s a really good baseball coach and he’s a local guy, just another quality person on our staff.”
Hendrix is an Enterprise native that was a standout on the Enterprise High baseball team before going on to play baseball in college at both Enterprise State Community College and then Faulkner University.
Hendrix and his Faulkner teammates won a championship in 2000 and then he joined the military and served in Iraq for a number of years before returning home to start his coaching career.
Over the past seven years Hendrix has served as an assistant baseball and football coach at Kinston, Rehobeth, Carroll, Northview and Dale County.
This will be Hendrix’s first head coaching opportunity and he will also teach P.E. at Windham Elementary.
Robertson said that bringing on two coaches with experience in both football and baseball/softball was important in this decision.
“We knew we needed some more experience on our staff with all of the coaching changes the last couple of years,” Robertson said. “We needed some folks with some experience in multiple areas. Defensive coordinator and offensive line are two things we targeted as needs for the football team along with a new baseball and softball coach. I think we hit a homerun there.”