Football may not be in season, but the Coahoma Community College football team is making all the right moves to ensure a successful 2021 season, scheduled to start in September 2021. Head Coach Travis Macon believes in having a strong coaching staff, with each individual being able to assist the team's overall development.
Coach Jaquez Johnson is Coahoma's new quarterback coach. He's a native of Starkville, Mississippi, bringing his young, energetic approach to the team. Johnson is extremely excited to be coaching the players as he can relate to them, having attended East Mississippi College, one of Coahoma's rival teams within the MACCC North division.
"I was excited when I found out I got the job, and I'm really looking forward to starting my coaching career and, most importantly, helping students from Mississippi the way I was helped when I was younger," said Johnson.
After graduating from East Mississippi in 2012, Johnson became a student-athlete at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, where he was a quarterback for the Owls. Upon graduating in 2015, he started his professional career by being the Urban Male Initiative Coordinator at Florida Atlantic and the Student-Athlete Development Coordinator. Johnson is delighted to now start his football career at CCC.
He admits that he is adjusting to being back in Mississippi. "I've had good experiences since being here on campus, and I believe it will only get better," said Johnson.
Coach Johnson is aware that most of Coahoma's coaches recently finished a winning season and is extremely grateful to work alongside them to help make Coahoma a Championship team.
"I am delighted and looking forward to working with these coaches and learning from them. A number of these coaches have been coaching for a while, and yes! We have a young staff, but we will work well together," said Johnson.
Coach Johnson is not the only new member of the Coahoma family. Justin Lucas is the new linebacker coach, and his hometown is Aberdeen, Mississippi. He played football at Aberdeen High School and then went on to East Mississippi Community College. Upon graduating, Lucas attended Troy University in Troy, Alabama, and played as a linebacker. Lucas was happy to be offered the position by coach Macon because they have a great relationship.
"I have been knowing coach since I was 18. He tried recruiting me out of high school, and even though I didn't commit to the school he was coaching at, he always stayed in contact with me, and I appreciated that," said Lucas.
After Troy University, Lucas started his professional coaching career in 2019 at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was the linebacker coach. He left Faulkner to join the Tigers and is excited to bring his winning personality. "I am bringing knowledge of the game because I have coached and played the position of linebacker. I am also bringing my winning mentality. I have won everywhere that I have been," said Lucas.
Lucas has had an impressive game record that he intends to disseminate to Coahoma. "I've been to two State Championships in High School, won two National Championships in Junior College, and was undefeated. I was also a part of college football's most significant turnaround in my senior year, which we went from 4-8 to 10-3, so I just have a winning mentality and leadership aspect.
Former NFL player Emmanuel McCray exceeded in his first year at Coahoma juggling the offensive line coach position and the strength and condition coach. His strategic plays and run-throughs in practice worked phenomenally alongside former offensive coordinator Bo Wallace. Coach Macon was so impressed with McCray that he excitedly announced that McCray is the new offensive coordinator, adding one more position to his list. "I was very pleased with Coach McCray, especially how he handled tough decisions during the season. I believe he is the best person for the job," said Macon.
McCray is eagerly looking forward to improving from last season and venturing into his new position. "I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue developing our kids, and we will have a number of returning freshmen who we want to continue building their techniques to get better.
The Ole Miss alum already has ideas ahead of the 2021 season on some improvements he will like to tackle. "There are somethings we need as a unit. I definitely want to improve our red zone game and continue to diversify our offensive plan and similar ideologies we had last year, such as an up-tempo offense," said McCray.
Most football teams start getting better in the spring season, and the coaches are already implementing ways to use the new upcoming weight room to improve. "Luckily, we have the spring, and it's important to us to get in the weight room to get stronger and also to start developing individual position training. In the spring, we will be playing ourselves to focus on the little things." He continued by saying, "The spring allows us to sort out and diversify our roster," said McCray.
As the season progresses, McCray has a main goal for the image of Coahoma. "By the end of 2021, I want everyone to know that "The New Coahoma isn't just a hashtag, Coahoma is a legit competitor from here on out. In the end, people will fear playing the Tigers," said McCray.