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By Kyle Sutherland | Photo by Sadie Rucker

Fort Smith Northside has promoted from within to replace longtime head coach Mike Falleur, who retired at the end of the 2021 season after 30 years on the sideline, nine of those with the Grizzlies.

It was announced Thursday that defensive coordinator Felix Curry will be officially introduced prior to the varsity boys basketball game on Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. Curry also serves as the school’s head track coach.

A South Carolina native, Curry has been on the Northside staff since 2013, when he moved to Fort Smith to join Falleur. Curry and Falleur knew each other from their days coaching high school football in Georgia. Curry had served as the defensive coordinator at Flowery Branch High School before joining Falleur’s staff.

Curry has helped the Grizzlies to seven playoff berths during his tenure as an assistant, including a second-round appearance last season, falling to eventual state champion and conference foe Bryant. 

Northside is coming off a 7-5 record, its most successful season since 2018. Curry’s defense allowed 23 points per contest in those 12 games. After winning five of their first six games, the Grizzlies lost three straight by a touchdown or less before winning two in a row. 

The Grizzlies will continue to compete in the 7A-Central Conference for the 2022-24 cycle with Bryant, Cabot, Conway, Little Rock Central, Little Rock Southwest and North Little Rock, with new member Jonesboro joining the conference after moving up from Class 6A.