RED JACKET, W.Va. – Joey Fields has been named the new head football coach at Mingo Central High School.
That official announcement was made at the board of education meeting this past Tuesday evening.
Fields, 26, is the youngest head coach in the Mountain State. He replaces Yogi Kinder, who announced he was retiring after this season. Fields has served as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator under Kinder during the first six seasons at Mingo Central.
“I’m super excited,” Fields said in an exclusive interview with the Williamson Daily News. “The hard work has paid off.”
“We are pleased to announce that Joey Fields has accepted the position of Head Football Coach at Mingo Central,” said MCHS Athletic Director Dr. Teddy Kinder. “Coach Fields has been with the program since its inception and will help us make a seamless transition as Coach Yogi Kinder enters retirement. He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm as well as an innovative approach to the game. Additionally, the ability to keep the coaching staff intact is a real positive, as coaches Hady Ford, Josh Sammons, Terry Harrison, Jacob Staton, Logan Lester, and Ashton Cline all return.”
Fields is pleased that the assistant coaching staff he has worked with will stay intact. Sammons serves as the defensive coordinator and Ford serves as the line coach. Both have a lot of experience as players and assistant coaches.
“We have a good staff here that Coach Kinder put together,” Fields said. “What is most important to me is to follow Coach Kinder. I played for him and I coached under him for so many years.”
Fields said he knows he has big shoes to fill.
Mingo Central won the Class AA state title this past December under Kinder’s guidance and finished with an undefeated 14-0 season, the first state championship in the young history of the new consolidated school.
“We lost a lot of good seniors that will we be hard to replace,” Fields said. “We have a good core that is still here. Guys that know who we are as a staff and not a lot is going to change. We are going to continue to go with what we have built. It started with Coach Kinder. We hope to grow the program in the right direction.”
Fields said he knows he will have a “little more on his plate” as head coach, but he is pleased that the assistant coaching staff will stay the same.
“This has been a year-long process,” Fields said.
Kinder had announced when practice started last August that this would be his last season.
“I was hoping I would have a chance at this job. I was trying to prepare for it. I know the kids are excited. The school is excited. We want to continue the success of the program. What the state championship did for our school was great,” Fields said. “I think this may be the most important year for the program and the school. Not the first year – but the year after you win a state championship. You can lose that momentum super-fast – or you can continue the success and build on it and have something that will last a long, long time.”
Fields said he knows that winning such a prestigious championship will give the Miners a target on their backs.
“Our guys have to stay hungry. I tell our players every day that they have to have this mindset,” he said. “And that was even before we won the state championship. We need to continue that tradition. We need to embrace that and come to work every day and do our jobs. We need to come out each Friday and be ready to play.”
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)