The Baker County Wildcats have been one of the area’s most successful football programs over the last three seasons. It will now be up to new Baker County head football coach Kevin Mays to maintain that success.
Mays was hired as the school’s head coach after Jamie Rodgers left in January to take over as head coach of Cook High School in Adel, Georgia.
1010XL caught up with Mays to talk about his coaching background and thoughts on taking over the Baker County program.
“My last football job was the head coach of Viera High School, which was a pretty successful team in Central Florida,” Mays told 1010XL. “I took a program that had only won five games total to the state championship game in my fourth or fifth year. We had a really good run there for the last four, or five years.
“I then took the athletic director position at Tohopekaliga High School in Kissimmee. I’ve been in that job about a year now, but a football coach is who I am and I wanted to get back into that.
“Then the athletic director at Baker County just reached out to me to see if I was interested and one thing led to another and here I am now and in two weeks I’ll be on campus.”
What was it about Baker County that appealed to Mays?
“The football tradition there,” Mays said. “We have heard about it down here and when you get up there and see the tradition and the community and how much it means to them. It seemed like it would be something that would fit with me and my family and what we want to be a part of.”
Mays said the reception he has received so far has been great.
“Last week they had a meet-and-greet for me at the school,” Mays said. “We probably had 150 people or so come out and I got to talk to the team earlier in the day. I got to introduce myself to them and kind of tell them my expectations going in.
“Everybody was excited to get a coach in place and I think they’re ready for me to get up there and get things going. I just have to tie up a bunch of loose ends down this way first.”
What will be the biggest challenge that Mays sees in the first months he is on the job at Baker County?
“My biggest concern now is getting a staff,” he said. “I’ve already talked to a few of the guys that are on staff and told them that at least through spring we would work together and make sure that my style and their style mesh. I’m still working on trying to get a couple of guys to come with me.”
What is his message for Baker County fans?
“I did tell the community that one thing I ask for them is to be patient through this process,” Mays said. “As important as spring is, I want to make sure I put the right pieces in place and not be in a hurry to put the wrong pieces there.
“It will be one piece at a time and we will move forward and get things going.”
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)