Cheatham named new KA football coach
Kemper Academy caught a big fish in the hiring of new head football coach, Steve Cheatham. Cheatham is the former head coach at East Central Community College and has also served as head coach at both Neshoba Central High School and Philadelphia High School, as well as assistant coach at both.
Cheatham has also served as an assistant coach at the Division I Power 5 level. Cheatham coached defensive backs at Clemson and served as Assistant Athletic Director for Football Operations for Ole Miss. Cheatham also served as defensive coordinator at Faulkner University.
“I’m very excited”, Cheatham says, “My wife and I both are looking forward to it,” Cheatham also says he’s looking forward to the challenge of making the transition from coaching traditional football for many years, to now coaching 8-man football.
Cheatham says he will have to get some advice from other coaches. “I didn’t invent the game”, Cheatham said, “Everything I know I learned from someone else.” Cheatham plans on taking a calmer approach in this stage of his career. “I’m gonna have fun… I’m going to enjoy the kids and they are going to enjoy me,” he said.
Cheatham refers to himself as being a “hard butt” earlier in his career. “I’m probably still going to be a hard butt”, he says, but Cheatham only wants to push the kids to do their best. Cheatham says he will not let football take over his life like he admits it did earlier in his career. “When I first started coaching it was faith, family, football, and in the later parts it became football, with a gap before family and faith,” he said, noting that he doesn’t not want that to happen again.
Kemper Academy is super ecstatic about this hire. “I think he is going to be great for the kids we have here”, says KA Athletic Director Colt Kilpatrick, “He has the knowledge, he’s coached at every level except the NFL”.
Coach Betty Lynn Haggard did a lot of the recruiting also. “He had my gut in a knot for a solid week” Haggard says, “It was a job to get Steve Cheatham at Kemper Academy,” Haggard said it was on her mind the whole week, trying to get Cheatham to say yes.
“Betty Lynn wouldn’t take no for an answer”, Cheatham said. KA is also hoping Cheatham is going to draw kids from nearby schools to play for Cheatham. “Luckily we were able to get him back into the game,” Kilpatrick said.