When Strong begins its defense of the 2A 8-Man state title, it will do so with a new coach.
According to a post on the Arkansas High Football Facebook page late on Tuesday night, Sirl Wright, who guided the Bulldogs to an 11-0 record in their first year of playing eight-man football, was named as the Razorbacks’ special teams coordinator and will also coach linebackers.
Wright, who also guided Strong’s boys track team to consecutive runner-up finishes at the 1A state meet, will be Texarkana’s track coach.
“The Strong-Huttig School District would like to wish Coach Sirl Wright the best as he transitions to his new role in Texarkana,” Strong-Huttig School District Superintendent Kimberly Thomas said. “Although he will be greatly missed, we are grateful for his leadership in our district and for the positive impact he has had with our students, parents and our community over the past four years. Coach Wright has etched his name in history at Strong High School with the first 8-Man state championship and we know he will take that same winning spirit in his new role in Texarkana School District.”
Overall, Wright coached the Bulldogs for four seasons with the first three seeing Strong struggle playing 11-man football before moving to the eight-man ranks last year.
The move proved to be a smashing success.
The Bulldogs overcame an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to top Mountain Pine 66-60 in double overtime to win the state title on Treveon Daniels’ 10-yard touchdown run on Strong’s first play of the second overtime.
The win capped a perfect season that saw the Bulldogs outscore its opponents 442-196.
In addition to hiring a new football coach, Strong is also looking to hire a boys basketball coach after the school didn’t renew Robert Shelton’s contract.