Ed Rich is a Southaven guy through and through. In now his 28th year as a staff member at Southaven High School, he informed the school last week that he has decided to retire at the end of this school year. He has meant so much not only to this school over the last three decades, but also to the community.
Coach Rich has had a hand in so many different activities over the years. This season marked his 12th as head coach of the football team. In those 12 seasons, he lead the team to the playoffs seven times totaling an 84-58 overall record. He also spent 15 years as the head baseball coach leading those teams to three state championships in 1999, 2000, and 2013 only missing the playoffs one time in all those seasons. He has worked under three different athletic directors and four head principals. Coach Rich has had the opportunity of coaching over 20 athletes that went on to sign and play division-1 in football alone, countless baseball athletes of which he could say the same, and many more that played at community colleges.
Current athletic director said of his co-worker and former coach, “From the AD point of view I learned how much he really loves and cares for the kids. As good as he was as a coach I can now see how good he is at loving the kids too. As a player for him, I just want to say ‘thank you’ because of the impact that he had developing me from a boy into a man.”
Current principal Shane Jones added, “The number of students he impacted either directly or indirectly is countless. I think he leaves a legacy that will be remembered at Southaven High for years to come.”
Ed Rich was not just a coach. He also taught Geometry primarily along with distance learning and computer classes. He either taught or coached at least a half dozen of the current coaches here at Southaven just going to show the culture he has helped create. He also coached a number of current coaches and assistant principals across Desoto county.
It is safe to say Coach Rich has impacted hundreds of lives over his 28 years as a coach and teacher at Southaven High. He leaves a big hole in the athletic department and will be missed. He now hands the reigns of the football program over to his longtime assistant as defensive coordinator and former player, Eddie Stevenson. Jamie Armstrong will take over as offensive coordinator, and Aquarius Winston will take over as assistant head coach and special teams coach.
Coach Pounds said of Coach Stevenson, “I believe we’ve had the best defensive coordinator in state for a while now, and I’m excited to have him take over and continue the tradition of Southaven athletics.”
Coach Stevenson said, “As a player for him, I had such a respect for him and that respect changed as I became an assistant under him. The longer I worked under him, it became more of a mentorship and then onto a brotherhood/family atmosphere.” When asked about taking over as head coach, he added, “I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to take over in a place that I played and I have worked and coached for so long now. I can’t wait to see what we can do in the future.”
Here are a few pictures of Coach Rich over the years:
Thank you for the many years of service to this school and community, Coach. You will be missed!