New coach ready to lead South Side football

A month ago, Lester Narcisse was at Covington High School, serving as defensive coordinator for the Chargers’ football team, wrapping up spring and preparing for his fourth season helping lead one of the powers of rural West Tennessee.

On Tuesday, Narcisse was in a hotel room between games at his daughter’s national championship volleyball tournament putting work into getting the South Side football program started.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” Narcisse said. “From what I’ve seen of this program, this team has a lot of potential right now, and the work toward that has already started.”

Jackson-Madison County Schools announced Narcisse as the new head coach of South Side football, a little less than a month after former coach Tyler Reeder turned in his resignation right after school ended.

Narcisse is from Baton Rouge, La., and played college football at Lambuth University. He’s been in West Tennessee ever since, coaching at different places closer to Memphis.

He was an assistant coach under Covington’s J.R. Kirby for the past three years and also when Kirby was leading the program at Munford.

Primarily a defensive guy, Narcisse said Kirby gave him the chance to also coach running backs at Covington to give him a chance to get a look at leading both sides of the ball in preparation for his possible shot at being a head coach.

“And I think that experience has helped as it gave me the opportunity to look at both sides of the ball closer over the course of an entire season and offseason than I would’ve been if I were just coaching defense,” Narcisse said. “Coach Kirby I think did a great job of helping me prepare for this opportunity.”

Narcisse admits that the timing of him taking the job the week before TSSAA’s two-week dead period isn’t the greatest situation, but he’s willing to jump in and lead the team.

“One thing I can already tell you I like about this team is that even though they’ve had multiple coaches resign from their positions, not a single player on this roster has quit,” Narcisse said. “That shows me their commitment to this team and each other, and that’s a good foundation to build on when working with a new team.”

The Hawks have the rest of this week to get a few base plays in the playbook and then the two weeks off for the dead period. On July 9, they’ll return from the break with six weeks to prepare for the season and their opening game against Ripley.

Narcisse said he will be working through the break learning what he can about the team and program while also hiring assistant coaches.

“We’ve had a number of guys show interest in coming here, so we’ll hopefully get a staff together quickly and get as much done as we can before the season,” Narcisse said. “But I’m glad to be here and appreciative of the opportunity from Jackson-Madison County Schools.

“I understand South Side is a school that truly does have its own community of support, and I’m glad to be here with everyone connected to this program.”

Brandon Shields,