Newly Named Highlands Football Coach Backs Out of Job
Eddie James was introduced as the new head football coach at Highlands on Sunday, arriving to great fanfare in Fort Thomas that afternoon.
But on Tuesday, Fort Thomas Independent Schools announced that James "has backed out of his commitment to come to Fort Thomas and lead the program."
“The Highlands Bluebirds represent one of the true blue blood programs in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and a gold standard when it comes to excellence,” James said in the news release announcing his hiring over the weekend. “I would only leave Franklin County for a job of this magnitude, and I am very eager to work with the great student-athletes in Fort Thomas to restore a championship tradition on the football field.”
But between Sunday and Tuesday, that sentiment apparently faded.
In a news release, it was stated that James told Highlands officials on Tuesday that he would remain at Franklin County High School where he had led the team to a state runner-up finish in the Class 4A playoffs this past season.
“We are very disappointed in Coach James’s decision, but we are moving on,” Highlands principal Matt Bertasso said in a statement. “We want somebody who wants to be at Highlands and build on our pedigree of excellence here, and our search for the next football coach will resume immediately. We will find the right person to restore our championship tradition.”
James spoke with Lexington TV station WKYT:
"Do I want to be Eddie James the football coach or do I want to be somebody who is a mentor and impacts them?"— Alex Walker (@AlexWalkerTV) January 12, 2021
Eddie James is STAYING at Franklin County and not leaving for Highlands. Made the decision last night. @KYHighFootball pic.twitter.com/RD2NpZipJi
Highlands parted ways with previous head coach Brian Weinrich in December. Weinrich led the Bluebirds to the program's twenty-third state title in 2013, but went 38-34 in the seasons since, including a 5-6 finish in 2020, Fort Thomas Matters reported. The program has also lost seven consecutive games to rival Covington Catholic.