Hankins named Purvis football coach

By CAMAL PETRO,

The Purvis Tornadoes have found their new head football coach, and they didn’t go very far to get him. PineBeltSPORTS learned Monday afternoon Purvis defensive coordinator Brad Hankins will now lead the program.

Former head coach Perry Wheat retired last month after 12 seasons as head coachand Hankins served as an assistant coach under Wheat for the past four seasons.

“I’m very excited,” Hankins said. “It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m now following in the steps of coach Wheat, who’s a coaching legend. It’s going to be a tough gig, but it’ll be a fun experience and a fun opportunity. I’m looking forward to it.”

Hankins was a frontrunner for the job immediately, and it was always his plan to take over the position when it came available. He didn’t think it would be this soon, though.

“This is home for me, so of course it was an ideal situation,” Hankins said. “To get to come back here and one day become the head coach, it’s a special deal. It worked out, but I didn’t see that it was going to work out this soon. I thought it may have been on down the road a little bit, but the Lord has a plan and puts you where you’re supposed to be.”

This will be Hankins' first stint as a head coach, but he does have 21 years as a high school coach under his belt. He spent four years at PCS coaching baseball and basketball, then 13 seasons at Forrest County AHS before going to Purvis.

His first priority is to hire his staff and get ready for spring football practice. Hankins plans to start spring practice by the end of April, if everything goes according to plan with the hiring of new coaches.

The Purvis players learned the news at 1 p.m. Monday.

“They were excited, as was I,” Hankins said. “We’re looking forward to getting this bunch going, just putting my thumbprint on it and we’ll see what happens.”

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