Warren Central High School will interview outside candidates for its football coaching position, athletic director Marques Clayton said Wednesday.
Steve Tutsie guided the Warriors to a 5-6 record this fall as an interim coach. Tutsie, a longtime assistant and also the program's head coach in 2006 and '07, was hired on an interim basis after former coach John Hart resigned in April.
"We're extremely appreciative of Steve Tutsie," Clayton said. "He stepped up to the plate in a challenging situation that occurred last spring and was able to pull the program together."
Clayton said he encouraged Tutsie to put his name in for the position again, though the school will interview outside candidates. The job was posted Tuesday and likely will be open until Dec. 14. Clayton would like to hire a coach by the start of the second semester Jan. 7.
"That's the best-case scenario," he said. "If we go a bit longer, we go longer. But we're moving forward with the expectation we'll have a coach in place by January."
Warren Central has been one of the top programs in the state for a number of years. The Warriors own seven state championships, including five since 2003. The losing record this season was the program's first since 1999.
"Going 5-6 is unacceptable at Warren Central," Tutsie said. "I'm not upset that they are going to open it up. But I've had two really good conversations (with the administration). I've been told I need to have an offensive plan. Our defense was good enough to win state, but you have to score points."
The Warriors scored just 46 points in their six losses. Warren Central played Class 5A state champion Lawrence Central to its closest game in a 21-14 loss in the sectional championship.
Tutsie said the incoming freshman class will be one of the best the program has ever had.
"A great class," he said.
Clayton said stability will play a major role in the hire.
"We want somebody who is willing to make a long-term commitment," he said. "We're looking for a coach that has had success as a head coach and will be a great fit for our kids and community."