After a false start which led to the premature announcement of a new head football coach, Salem has chosen one of its own to lead the team for the 2006-07 football season.
Wayne Guiltner, the current principal of Salem High School, will serve as head football coach this season. Guiltner will coach along with his duties as principal.
Guiltner served as a football coach at Salem for four of his six years with the district, superintendent Ken Rich said. He was head coach for three years.
Rich said Guiltner served as both head coach and high school principal simultaneously during the 2004-05 school year. Rich said the two duties should not conflict with each other. "If he needs help of any kind, I'll provide that help for him," Rich said.
Rich said Guiltner will serve as head coach for at least the 2006-2007 school year. He said it is a temporary situation; it will be re-evaluated in the future.
Guiltner agreed to take the position after it was turned down by Scott Waymire. The school board chose Waymire during a special meeting July 6. Waymire was the defensive coordinator for Vilonia, a 4A school. He was also to coach track as well as teach health and drivers' education classes.
On July 7 after local radio stations announced that Salem had a new football coach, Waymire turned down the job.
"He took a job at Carlisle, Ark.," Rich said. "They offered his wife a job too." Rich said Waymire's wife is a teacher and that the offer was part of a package deal.
Rich said the board confirmed the hiring of new assistant coach Seth Brazeal. Brazeal coached football, baseball and softball at Harrisburg. Brazeal is a graduate of Williams Baptist College and a former student teacher at Salem schools. Brazeal will also teach health and drivers' education at the school.
Salem has been seeking three new football coaches since head coach Ed Kelley and assistant coaches Chad Mitchell and Lucas Morris all handed in their resignations in May and June.
Rich said it is more difficult to find coaches in the summer than in the spring because most are already under contract with other schools.
Rich said the three coaches have moved on because of personal reasons or to take jobs in other places. He said Morris took a coaching position in Dumas, Ark., and Mitchell took a coaching job at Van Buren, Ark. Kelley did not give a reason for leaving and was not asked to resign, Rich said. Kelley and Morris both coached one year at Salem while Mitchell coached two.
One more position for assistant football coach remains open at Salem. "We're still interviewing," he said.