There are two things Tupelo quarterback Luke McAlpin already likes about his new coach, Johnny Hill.
"He has a reputation for being an outstanding offensive coach so I like that, and when he came on campus Friday he was wearing cowboy boots. I thought that was cool," McAlpin said.
Golden Wave players, fans and coaches don't know much about Hill, but they like what they know so far. McAlpin and teammate Brent Heavener took the opportunity to meet Tupelo's new head football coach face-to-face at the Wednesday press conference announcing Hill's appointment.
"He told us he wants to meet with the team Friday and get started," Heavener said.
Nancy FrugŽ, who along with her husband Larry will serve as the presidents of the Tupelo Football Booster Club this year, said parents are equally ready and excited to get started.
"We are glad Coach Hill is here, and happy to have someone with his qualifications," said FrugŽ, whose son, Parrish, is a member of the Golden Wave football squad.
Hill will inherit a veteran coaching staff from the retiring James Sloan. One of those staff members, head baseball and assistant football coach Larry Harmon, gave Hill an endorsement.
"We are finding out that all the good things we have heard about him are true," Harmon said. "We all know and support him. With the experience we have on this staff it shouldn't take long to get on the same page."
Along with Johnny, Tupelo will be getting two of his talented sons, Jake and Stan. As a senior last year in Oxford Jake backed up his brother, Chad, at quarterback while starting at wide receiver. Chad will be playing baseball at Ole Miss this year where his other brother, Walt, is also a student.
"I have heard his son (Jake) is a quarterback, but that is not really a big concern for me," said McAlpin, who has been getting some tips from former Tupelo and current Notre Dame quarterback Jarious Jackson in workouts the past few weeks. "I just want our team to win no matter who plays where."
While Hill was getting acquitanted with his new Tupelo team he is preparing to say goodbye to a loyal Oxford group. Robert Youngblood has been named to coach Oxford next season. Charger running back Chuck Cooper went to church with the Hill family at the Oxford Church of Christ.
"They are going to love Coach Hill," Cooper said. "He is such a good coach and person. We were really excited about this next year with all the people we had coming back. Now we just have to come together and work for Coach Youngblood."
One Golden Wave player has already gotten a glimpse of the Hill family.
Running back Kevin Williams met Jake Hill recently at a Mississippi State football camp. Williams was impressed with the way Hill threw the ball.
"He came up and introduced himself, and we kind of hit it off," Williams said. "Everything I have heard about his dad sounds good, too."