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Orsagh's Coaching Odyssey: Texan Jeremy Orsagh Hired as Kirby Head Coach

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Jeremy Orsagh has never been a head football coach but has been an offensive coordinator at six different programs.

He's hoping that vast experience on the offensive side of the ball will bring excitement and winning ways to the Kirby football program.

He will definitely have his work cut out for him as Kirby hasn't had a winning season since going 7-4 in 1999.

"I've had friends call me and ask me if I'm crazy," Orsagh said. "And maybe I am but I think that Kirby can be a winner and I know it's going to take a lot of work, but I'm not afraid to work hard."

"I recruited Memphis when I coached in college so I know that there are athletes here, so if we can upgrade the facilities and the equipment I feel like we can build something the community can be proud of."

He replaces Jeremy Stewart who resigned in November despite a 5-35 record and Kirby went 1-9 this year.

Orsagh, 33, has been the offensive coordinator at these programs Pine Tree (TX), Columbus (MS), Morton Ranch (TX), John Tyler (TX), Highland Community College (KS) and Normangee (TX).

Kirby principal Reginald Williams and other community leaders, players and coaches were very impressed with Orsagh after his 30 minute power point presentation.

"Coach Orsagh ignited the audience," Williams said. "He had fresh ideas, resources, and he has coached on every level. He is a motivator and he can market his players which was very important to me. He cares about his players after football which was shown in his powerpoint. My staff and I are excited about this hire as we continue our school slogan "Moving from Good 2 Great"."

Orsagh played for current Baylor head coach Art Briles at Stephensville (TX) high school in the mid-1990s.

Orsagh intends to have Kirby play fast on both offense and defense.

"Obviously playing under Coach Briles has rubbed off on me," Orsagh said.

"We'll be an multiple spread team that will play hard and fast."

But Orsagh's coaching career hasn't been without incident as he was suspended from coaching in Texas while at Morton Ranch for three years by the University Interscholastic League State Executive Committee for major rules violations which involved recruiting and fundraising in January 2010.

He along with Morton Ranch head coach
Tuesday's UIL meeting ended a saga that begin in August when three Morton Ranch coaches were placed on leave amid allegations of misuse of funds and tampering with documents concerning student eligibility and grades.

The UIL is the law making body in the state of Texas, like the TSSAA in Tennessee.

Orsagh actually was suspended and placed on leave in August of 2009 and his suspension ended in 2012.

But the reason according to Orsagh was for giving players rides home and money to put food on the table.

"A kid doesn't have food in their house, and their parents aren't around, I'm not going to sit there and let that kid starve, I'm going to go feed the kid a meal," Orsagh told KHOU.com back in 2010.

"Losing my own two kids to divorce, and then losing my other 300 kids from getting released from the district, I mean, you know, my whole world is gone," he continued in 2010. "Football is all I know."

"Did I break those rules? Yeah, I broke those rules. But I'll continue to break those rules because those kids come first. And I'm going to make sure a kid is fed, and I'm going to make sure a kid is safe and he's at home, you know, where he's supposed to be."

When asked about the suspension, Orsagh didn't flinch.

"When I was serving the suspension and interviewing for jobs especially at Columbus and Pine Tree, they asked and I was very out front with them," Orsagh said.

"I made mistakes but every coach does we are not perfect but if I had it to do over again and one of my players were in trouble, I would do the exact same thing."

According to the UIL staff when contacted, giving a player a ride home after practice is not against UIL rules, but giving money regardless of the circumstance to a player is.

In the UIL's 135 page football rule book, the rule in section 441 under Amateur Athletic Status reads:

NOT AN AMATEUR. For purposes of competing in an athletic contest, a student in grades 9-12 is not an amateur if that individual, within the preceding 12 months received money or other valuable consideration for teaching or participating in a League sponsored school sport or received valuable consideration for allowing his or her name to be used in promoting a product, plan or service related to a League contest or accepted money or other valuable consideration from school booster club funds for any non-school purpose. It is a violation of the athletic amateur rule for parents of student athletes to accept tickets to athletic contests where their children are participating. It is also a violation for parents of student athletes to accept free pass gate admission to athletic contests where their children are participating unless they are at the contest in another capacity, i.e., if the parent is an employee of the school or a board member, or working at a concession booth.

According to TSSAA's Assistant Executive Director Matt Gillespie neither is against TSSAA rules.

"Principals, teachers, and coaches help needed students all the time," Gillespie said. "That is what educators do. The only time we would question a situation is if the kid transferred to the school out of zone and the coach has to take them home. Even there, it could be a legitimate situation."

Orsagh went to Columbus High School (MS) in 2011-12 and his offense was potent as it finished second in total offense in the highest classification (6A) in Mississippi.

He just finished his second season as Offensive Coordinator at Pine Tree (TX) high school.

Currently there are open head football coaching positions at Hickman County, Hixson, Whitwell, Middle Tennessee Christian, Clay County, Bolivar, Fairley, Clarksville Northwest, Ezell Harding, Red Bank, Bearden, Perry County, Monterey, Clarksville, Halls, Unicoi County, Nashville Overton, Marion County, Chattanooga Central, Jackson Christian, Knoxville Central and Richland.

Contact Donovan at donovans1222@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew

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