Commodores tab Fair as head coach

Published 12:02 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lafayette has found its next football coach.

Michael Fair, who spent the last two seasons as the coach at Senatobia, has been hired as Lafayette’s head coach. Fair’s hiring was approved by the Lafayette County School District at its board meeting Monday night.

Lafayette athletic director Chick Drewrey began searching for a new coach early last month after Eric Robertson accepted an offer to be the defensive coordinator on former Lafayette coach Anthony Hart’s staff at Madison Central, ending Robertson’s four-year tenure at the helm.

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“I’m looking forward to the opportunity,” said Fair, who didn’t want to comment any further when reached by phone Monday night because he had yet to meet with his players at Senatobia to tell them about his move, something he was planning to do this morning.

More than 80 people expressed interest in the job with more than 65 eventually applying, Drewrey said. Drewrey interviewed nine candidates, including Fair last Monday.

The two met again Thursday morning, which is when Drewrey said he was sold on Fair, who coached Pillow Academy for six seasons before taking over at Senatobia and led the Mustangs to the MAIS AAA Division II state championship in 2010.

“I think his experience as a head coach separated him from the other finalists,” Drewrey said. “He’s been at successful programs. He’s got a lot of personal experience and gave a great interview. He’s a really good guy as all of them were.

“We were wanting somebody to impress us more than the rest of them, and he was the guy we recommended.”

Leaving an impression
Fair went 16-7 in his two seasons at Senatobia with appearances in the MHSAA Class 4A playoffs both years, an impressive turnaround after taking over a program that went 1-9 the season before he arrived. The Warriors went 10-2 this past season, their highest win total since 2005, and claimed the Region 2-4A title over Lafayette after defeating the Commodores 20-19, something that resonated with Drewrey.

“The main thing is you look at them last year, and there was one game that we felt like got away from us last year and put us on the road in the playoffs to Noxubee (County) instead of playing them at home,” Drewrey said. “(Fair) did a great job against us last year. Maybe they weren’t as talented as us, but we felt like that game got away from us last year. One thing you always want to look for in a head coach is somebody that wins those one or two games a year that maybe they shouldn’t win.”

Drewrey said Fair will coach Lafayette during spring practice while looking to fill out a staff that still has two vacancies. Offensive coordinator Dusty Finley joined Robertson at Madison Central while offensive line coach Cody Stubblefield will soon be leaving for Tupelo, Drewrey said.

“He’s got lots of work to do, but he’s ready to do it,” Drewrey said.

Lafayette went 10-3 last season with a second-round exit in the 4A playoffs. The Commodores are scheduled to start spring practice later this month.