Photo: Dustin Hectorne, pictured when he was announced as new Lewisburg head football coach. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
A bit of a coaching carousel has developed among DeSoto County football coaches this past week and it may not be over yet.
The latest turn was announced on Wednesday, Dec. 6 when Lewisburg head coach Dustin Hectorne announced he was returning to Horn Lake to coach the Eagles, where he had previously held an assistant coaching position.
Hectorne was named the head coach of the Patriots in December 2020 and in three seasons compiled a 13-19 overall record and was 0-2 in playoff games. However this season, Lewisburg had Hectorne’s best season as its head coach, posting a 7-4 record and was 3-2 in Region 1-7A contests. The Patriots lost to Madison Central 46-0 in the first round of the postseason.
The 7-4 record was Lewisburg’s best football season since the 8-5 mark Butch Veazey’s squad put together as a 4A school in 2012.
He was brought in to build up a program that has struggled in five previous years under Matt Gehrke, but Hectorne will have a bigger task now to build back a Horn Lake team that has won only one game in two seasons with Brandon Jackson as its coaching leader.
Horn Lake was 1-9 in 2023 under Jackson and was 0-10 in 2022. Four years before that, in 2018, the Eagles were undefeated and were 6A Mississippi state champs under Brad Boyette as head coach and Hectorne as an assistant coach.
The new coach for Horn Lake was not the first one recently announced in DeSoto County, as Southaven named Randal Montgomery as new coach. Montgomery has led North Panola the past four seasons, fashioning a 29-16 record and two Region 2-3A titles.
This past season, the Cougars were 6-6 overall, 3-1 in Region 3-3A games and reached the second round of the playoffs.
Before North Panola, Montgomery coached at Columbus, where the Falcons were 20-26 in four seasons and 0-2 in playoff games. He came to Columbus from Hazlehurst, where the Indians dominated Class 3A and won the 2012 state title.
On Dec. 6, the Mississippi High School Activities Association website also listed a head coaching vacancy at DeSoto Central, where Shelby Ford had led the Jaguars for eight years to a 37-56 overall record. His Jaguars were in the state playoffs the last three years.