Rattler coach search narrowed

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    By John Balch
    News-Leader staff

    The search for a new Murfreesboro Rattler head football coach and athletic director was narrowed down from 21 applicants to four prospects, Monday night, according to South Pike County School District Superintendent Roger Featherston.

    The four finalists include two current Rattler coaches and Murfreesboro High School graduates – Steve Martin (class of 1984) and Marc McRae (class of 2008). The other two finalists are Jonathan Bates, currently employed at the Paris School District, and Matthew Gonzalez, currently employed at the Watson Chapel School District. Bates and Gonzalez are both defensive coordinators at their respective schools.

    Featherston said the four finalists will be interviewed Tuesday, May 2, with the first interview set to begin at 5 p.m. He added that it is likely the school board will also make their final choice that night.

    “I think that, either way, out these four guys we will come out with a good quality coach,” Featherston said Tuesday morning.

    Martin is currently the head coach of the Lady Rattler softball team and is also an assistant football coach who handles the team’s secondary and receivers. His coaching career started in 1989 at Umpire and he has also coached at Dierks; New Boston, Texas; Leonard, Texas; and De Kalb, Texas. Martin has been employed at Murfreesboro for seven years.

    McRae is currently the Rattler baseball head coach and he is also an assistant football coach and the team’s offensive coordinator. McRae was hired by the Gurdon School District right after graduating from Harding University. At Gurdon, he served as head baseball coach, assistant football coach and co-offensive coordinator. McRae has been employed at Murfreesboro for two years.

    Featherston said Bates has also coached at both the Mount Ida and Mena school districts while Gonzalez did a stint with Hot Springs High School.

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