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Ford new Elysian Fields coach/AD

By TYLER CLIFTON tclifton@news-journal.com
April 19, 2013 at 11 p.m.


ELYSIAN FIELDS – There's no place like home, and Marshall's Scott Ford is coming back to East Texas.

The former Maverick football player from 1986-88 who played collegiately at Sam Houston and UNT and spent the last season as Hidalgo's athletic director/head football coach, resigned on Friday to move closer to home and take the same position at Elysian Fields vacated earlier by former boss Eric King.

The Yellowjackets went 11-4 and are coming off a season in which they advanced to the Class 2A Division II state semifinals before losing to eventual champion East Bernard. King's contract wasn't renewed after 11 months of turmoil and uncertainty, but Ford hopes to continue the program's rise.

"They're definitely committed to winning, and I'm concerned about continuing to do so and doing it in a classy way and communicating in the right manner," Ford said. "I think it's going to be a really good fit."

Ford comes to Elysian Fields from Class 3A Hidalgo, a town located close to the Mexican border, where he took at team which was forced to forfeit all wins from the 2011 season and went 7-4 with a district championship which wasn't decided until an overtime victory on the final day of the regular season.

The 32-3A champions played more than half their district campaign without star freshman quarterback Shea Patterson, who has already verbally committed to attend the University of Arizona in 2016. Ford is a numerous Coach of the Year recipient and has played for and coached with the likes of Todd Dodge.

"I think Hidalgo will continue to be successful and had a tremendous coaching staff," Ford said. "They'll continue working hard, and when you put things into context, it was a tremendous success story, and I'm very thankful for the time I had there. It couldn't have been a better story or more fitting ending."

Ford inherits a winning program for the first time, one which has been to three state championship games and advanced to the state semifinals in Waco one year ago. He plans to begin work Wednesday.

"I'm extremely excited to be here and was overly impressed with the interview committee," Ford said. "I've got some guys who are very interested in joining me here, but I owe it to a staff which went to the state semifinals to meet and give them the opportunity to share their vision of this work in progress."

It hasn't always been easy, as Ford was 4-16 in a two-year stint at Nacogdoches as head of a Dragon team which was grouped with Marshall and Hallsville in District 14-4A during the 2010-11 seasons.

"If I could go back in time, I would change some things, but there are no ill feelings toward Nacogdoches, and I always hope they find a way to be successful," Ford said. "It just wasn't the right fit.

"I want to continue and do things the way they were here which allowed these kids to be successful and obviously put my touch on it and cater to the ability of the kids. It's an on-going evaluation type deal with the kids, but those who do know me realize I like to run and gun, and most people do these days."

Ford, who is 80-45 in his career which also includes two stints at Class 5A Los Fresnos for a total of seven seasons in the Rio Grande Valley for 65 of his victories. It included three straight trips to the third round of the playoffs, as Ford also spent one season at Class 4A Joshua as well as stops as an assistant at three other schools in Cleburne, Killeen Ellison and Leander, where good friend Clint Harper spent five seasons (three as an assistant and two as head coach) before coming back home to coach Marshall in February.

"I wish Clint nothing but the best at Marshall, and I'm glad to be returning home as well," said Ford, who is looking forward to making the move with his wife of 16 years Kelli and 10-year old son Parker, who was named after former Maverick head coach and Ford's fellow coach at Nacogdoches Dennis Parker, a man Ford looks up to in the coaching ranks and has a state championship on his resume from 1990.

"It's a very positive situation coming back home, and I'm really looking forward to spending some time with family and friends more than in the past, playing some golf and doing some hunting and fishing."

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