East tabs Vincent as next football coach

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By Mike Farner

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - On Monday afternoon, Bullitt East introduced Darrell Vincent as the school’s fifth head football coach.

It was the dream job that Vincent gave up an engineering career to pursue.

Vincent grew up in Mount Washington, played for the Chargers, and now for the past 16 years has served as an assistant coach on the staff of three of the four previous head coaches. In fact, since he was a freshman at Bullitt East for the last year that Ed Bentley was the head coach, Vincent has either played for, or coached, with all four of his predecessors.

The call to return to Mount Washington was more than Vincent could resist.

“I actually went to engineering school (first at Western Kentucky and then he graduated from the University of Kentucky) and worked for LexMark in Lexington, but I wasn’t happy,” Vincent said after meeting with the players on Monday. “I knew I wanted to coach.

“I was fortunate to come back in 1995,” the new coach said after graduating in 1987. “That year the team had just come off a trip to the state final. I went to Coach (Mike) Egan’s home and he said ‘let’s do it.’ He gave me the opportunity and let me coach.”

Over 16 years, there were a few openings at other schools that could have enticed Vincent to leave, but he opted to stay in Mount Washington, coaching under Egan, Mike Settles and then Doug Preston who stepped down in January.

“That’s something my wife and I talked about,” the 41-year old said of looking at other coaching jobs. “My preference was to be here. I’m from here and the school shows support. I’m fortunate to get to stay here.

“I’ve worked or played for every head coach who has been here,” the coach added. “I’ve been here when it is good and when it has been bad. The goal is to be consistently at a high level.”

For the first 15 years that he was at Bullitt East, Vincent also served as the freshman boys’ basketball coach. A year ago that squad finished with an undefeated mark. Vincent dropped that job after last season to concentrate on football.

With his Bullitt East background, Vincent knows all the intricacies of the split-back veer offense. That is something that Preston got away from as the head coach, but it will return as the Chargers’ base offense, but it won’t be the only offense.

“We will spread it out and throw it if we have the quarterback and receivers,” Vincent pointed out. “You can’t be one dimensional.”

Just four hours after being named to the job, Vincent got an extension to when he needed to start the 10 days allowed for spring football practice. When the basketball team won the Sixth Region Tournament that meant that the Chargers could not start spring drills any earlier than March 21.

On defense, Vincent will be looking at a ‘gap-solid’ formation that will be like a 4-3. That will be a change from the 3-5 that the team used last season.

“That will allow the kids to play faster and they will know where they are going pre-snap,” the coach explained.

Vincent was the Bullitt County Teacher of the Year a year ago and was a finalist for the Kentucky Teacher of the Year award. He teaches physics and astronomy at Bullitt East.

Vincent is married to the former Trista Quire, who graduated from Bullitt Central. The couple does not have any children. His parents are Mike and Barbara Vincent and they still reside in Mount Washington.

At the Monday gathering, Vincent was asked both by the players and the media about who will be his assistant coaches. The new head coach wasn’t ready to name names, but he did say that his staff will “have a Bullitt East flavor.” There were a handful of former Bullitt East assistant coaches at the Monday announcement who had stopped coaching under Preston.