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Matt Middleton resigns from Cedar Creek

Ruston school on the hunt for new football coach, AD
Matt Belinson
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
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Photo by Darrell James Matt Middleton has resigned from his role as head football coach at Cedar Creek, leaving the Cougars on the hunt for new leadership.

Cedar Creek School is on the hunt for its next head football coach and athletic director.

News broke late Monday evening that Matt Middleton would be stepping down as head coach of the Cougars and leaving the school for another position, with the initial report from Gene Ponti.

Cindy Hampton, head of school at Cedar Creek, spoke with the Leader Tuesday morning about the change and where the Cougars will go from here.

“Cedar Creek is very grateful for Coach Middleton for being here with us and we wish him all the best,” Hampton said. “We’re keeping an open mind and we’re open for receiving applications for the position.”

Mark Ware will serve as interim coach during Creek’s search.

Hampton said Middleton informed administration over the weekend of his decision, and the team was informed Monday before the news broke.

Middleton declined to speak on his decision when reached by the Leader Monday evening.

While Hampton didn’t have a specific list of criteria for the next coach, she said the candidate “has to be passionate about what they do,” and someone who enjoys working with kids.

No specifics on prior coaching experience were mentioned by Hampton.

She said the process of finding Middleton’s replacement has just started, but the team won’t be rudderless in the meantime.

“We have a plan for going forward and everything will be kept in good hands for now,” Hampton said.

Sudden changes in leadership in the football program are nothing new for the administration, as Middleton was first brought on as head coach in 2021 as he led the Cougars to a 6-5 record.

He would later resign in January 2022 to take an offensive coordinator position at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas, before opting to return to Creek in June 2022 as head coach.

The Cougars went 7-5 this season and lost in the second round of the Division IV select playoffs to Vermillion Catholic.

When asked if the next head coach’s contract would include provisions of how long they must stay at Creek, Hampton said, “We have not had discussions on that yet.”