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Lafayatte County hires Foreman's Adrain Ivory as head football coach

Ivory spent the past three seasons as the Gators' head coach.

By Kyle Sutherland 

Lafayette County announced Tuesday evening that Adrain Ivory has been hired as the school’s new head football coach. Ivory spent the past five seasons at Foreman, three as head coach, and replaces Jason Hathcock, who resigned this month to take the same position at Mineral Springs. 

Ivory was hired by Mark King at Foreman as the defensive coordinator in 2017 and helped the Gators win 35 games from 2017-19 along with the 2A state championship, defeating Mount Ida 24-21, during his first season with the team. When King left for his current job at Magnolia following the 2018 season, Ivory was promoted to head coach and compiled a 19-15 record over three seasons, highlighted by an 11-1 finish in his first season at the helm, when Foreman won the 2A-7 conference championship outright.

Prior to Foreman, the Ashdown native started his career at Hot Springs where he worked under Bill Timmons, then later Chris Vereen. From 2012-16 Ivory was on Texarkana’s staff working under his high school coach and mentor, Todd Ledford.

“Coach Ledford had asked me to come to Texas High with him a couple of times before while I was at Hot Springs,” Ivory said. “I think when he took the Arkansas High job, it was just kind of a no-brainer for me."

I got to work with some great coaches over there, guys like Coach Ledford, Denny Burdine on the defensive side. I was able to be on offense for a couple of years, then defense for a while, and got to see both sides of the football. I think Todd Ledford and Denny Burdine have a lot to do with where I am now as a coach."

When Ivory became an assistant under King at Foreman, who also coached Ivory in high school, it was his first time leading at least one side of the ball, and he helped take the Gators to new heights.

“I appreciate [King] a lot — he just gave me free range over the defense and let me do what I wanted to do,” Ivory said. “We were able to win a state championship there and had a couple of other good runs. He set me up for success.”

Lafayette County had fallen on hard times before Hathcock, winning just seven games since 2016, and was coming off an 0-8 season in 2020. Last season, the Cougars went 5-5 and finished second in the 2A-7 conference, the same league as Foreman. The Gators had a game to forget in Week 8 against the Cougars, falling 64-14.

“[Hathcock] did a good job of trying to right the ship to get them going in the right direction, and we are just going to build off of that, the momentum they had last year,” Ivory said. “They have always had a good group of skill kids and there are some younger guys who are going to have to step up to make a name for themselves.”

Though there has been a foundation set, Ivory pointed out that there is still plenty to prove, and the team cannot get complacent and lose sight on achieving higher goals.

“They did win some games, but those kids also have to realize that you are still at the bottom,” Ivory said. “It is not just like we are some world beaters all of the sudden, but I appreciate him for trying to get it the right way and we are just going to build off of that.”

For the 2022-24 conference cycle, Lafayette County will move from the 2A-7 to the 2A-73 competing against Dierks, Foreman, Mineral Springs, Mount Ida, Murfreesboro and Poyen.