Less than a week after filling his position as the head football coach, Highlands High School has to do it again.
Eddie James announced on Tuesday that he is withdrawing his acceptance of the Highlands job offer to become the next head coach and will instead remain at Franklin County High School, where he has been the head coach for the past four seasons.
James graduated from Franklin County, located in Frankfort, Kentucky, in 2005.
Highlands had announced his hiring on Saturday, January 9, and introduced him to the public on Sunday with a press conference and an outdoor gathering where he met returning Bluebird players.
Last season, James led the Flyers on a run that ended with second place in the 2020 Kentucky Class 4A playoffs.
James was 35-12 in Franklin County. After the Flyers went 5-6 in 2017, James led them to a 10-3 record in 2018, 11-1 in 2019 and 9-2 last season.
We are very disappointed in Coach Jamess’ decision, but we will move on, Highlands director Matt Bertasso said in a statement. We want someone who wants to be at Highlands and build on our pedigree of excellence here, and our search for the next football coach will resume immediately. We will find the right person to restore our champion tradition.
James announced his decision in a lengthy statement to the Franklin County community. He said in part:
I am staying at home. I’m going nowhere. We have unfinished business in Franklin County.
Our program has been built since day 1 on a vision of trust, love and accountability to each other. That vision has turned into a family that goes far beyond our young men who are lucky enough to don a Flyer jersey. The love and feeling of the family has become contagious in our family, in school, and eventually in our community. When the decision to leave was made, it weighed heavily on my family for the above reasons. Ultimately, what we’ve built means too much to us to just walk away. We have fully invested in our FCHS family and realize that the impact and work of our family is not done here.
My love for these young men is very real. The love and support of this community is the result of countless hours of blood, sweat and tears shed by the young men who were chosen to become Flyers. Our program is made up of countless hours of work and endless hours of love and support for our vision. It is built OUR way and on OUR terms and on OUR hard work. We will continue to work at a hectic, tireless pace to make football great for every child in Franklin County.
Finally, I would like to apologize to all concerned. The initial decision made was for what most people usually think of as their family. As things progressed my family realized that our family is more than myself, Nikki, Ava and Jax. Our family members also include a Blair, DoDo, Kaden, OG, LeMarques, Taesean, Tyler, Nick, Jaizon and countless others. Our family has been and continues to grow and today we choose that family. They did not run. We will continue to choose them again and again.
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