Hawks could hire new football coach next week

The Viera Hawks are scheduled to interview candidates for their head football coach opening next Tuesday and could announce a hire shortly thereafter.

Viera High School could have a new football coach as early as next week.

Athletic Director Maggie Davis said the school plans to review resumes – possibly 200 of them – on Thursday. Interviews would then be scheduled for next Tuesday (Jan. 18) and an announcement could come shortly thereafter.

“We have a lot of out-of-state applicants, which is expected because people want to be here in Brevard, people want to be at Viera High School,” Davis said. “I think we’re well known much farther than our county. We have a lot of Florida applicants out-of-county, as well as a lot of local people.

“… It really tells you a lot about the program when you have this many interested applicants. Honestly, the more the merrier. There’s no such thing as too many, I feel, because no matter who the person is, no matter how far away they live, we want the best candidate for the job and we’re going to find them.”

Derek Smith, who served as Viera’s head coach for the past four seasons, announced over the winter break in December that he would be resigning. Smith is moving to Peachtree City, Georgia to become the head coach at McIntosh High School.

Prior to taking over as the Hawks’ head coach, Smith had spent four years on the Viera staff as the defensive coordinator under childhood friend Kevin Mays.

Viera was a floundering program before Mays arrived in 2011. Since then, the Hawks won seven straight district titles – three under Smith – and went to the Class 7A state championship game in 2015.

Davis said the coaching job was posted last Thursday morning and by Friday, there were already 40 applications filed.

The Hawks are looking to hire a coach who will continue to build on the culture and foundation set up by Mays and Smith while developing players both on and off the field.

“I want these kids to be much more than just their performances on the field,” Davis said. “I want them to be successful young men that make a difference in this world. Ultimately, that’s the goal. We want somebody who does much more than just develop their game, but develops them and their character.”

In other words, the Hawks view their next coach as someone who brings much more than a just a strong football acumen.

Viera wants the total package.

“We’re looking for many things,” Davis said. “Ultimately, I want somebody who’s going to be great for this community, and it’s so much more than just next year’s season. We want someone who’s going to develop the youth program, have great ties with the youth program and continue the footprint that Kevin Mays and Derek Smith have left behind.

“We want structure. We want stability. But ultimately, we want somebody who is going to be great with our community – our young kids, our parents, our community stakeholders. It’s just so much more than the wins and losses and the X’s and O’s.

“Your football coach is the face of the Viera Hawks.”