Coming off of their best season in program history, the Paris Eagles faced the sudden departure of their head football coach, Tyler Clark, who announced that he was moving on to Russellville high school to be the new offensive coordinator for the Cyclones. The April announcement left the Paris school district having to scramble to quickly find a head coach for its football program that will return several key starters in the fall. Last evening, that search came to an end when Paris announced the hiring of former Russellville head football coach, Jeff Weaver.
In a statement released by the Paris school district on Thursday, the district announced the hiring of Weaver by saying, “Paris Public Schools are excited to announce Jeff Weaver as the new Head Football Coach at Paris High School. Coach Weaver and his wife Stacy are coming to Paris from Russellville High School. Coach Weaver has been the Head Football Coach at Russellville, Little Rock Christian and Mena. Before he became a Head Coach, he was at Greenwood for 11 years working with Ronnie Peacock and Rick Jones. During his time at Greenwood, they won 4 state championships. His last 3 years at Greenwood, Coach Weaver was the offensive coordinator.”
Weaver has been the head coach at several programs around the state, including his last stint at Russellville. Weaver was 16-28 in four years as the Cyclones’ head coach, including three wins in the past two seasons. Weaver resigned his position as head football coach on November 16, 2020. Russellville can be a tough place to coach. The Cyclones play in a very tough conference and have been young for the last two years. Weaver’ Cyclones were competitive but in some cases were just not able to close games out for wins.
I spoke to regional coaches in the area that either know Weaver or have coached with or for him, and the resounding comments from those coaches is that he is “a great guy, a great coach, and a great program builder.” As 3A football fans know, life for 3A football is very different from the larger classification schools. It is important for 3A coaches to be able to develop players, develop their abilities to play both ways in a game, and develop future talent in the lower grades that will eventually lead to good players on future high school rosters. By all accounts, Weaver is an excellent selection that will be able to do these things for Paris.
The Eagles return several starters from last year’s conference runner-up team that advanced to the state quarterfinals in the 2020 state football playoffs. The Eagles, however, have lost several key interior linemen on both sides of the ball to graduation. It will be very important for Weaver to continue the strength development of those players who will be counted on to fill the line positions in the fall. Since the resignation of Tyler Clark, it has been reported to RP that the remaining assistants have continued to work hard and train their players hard so that the program will continue to move forward until the new head coach was selected. It will be very interesting to see if Weaver continues the same offensive and defensive schemes that Clark employed during his tenure, or, if the Eagles will be learning new systems over the next four months leading up to the start of the season.
Weaver is expected to start working in Paris on Monday, April 26. He has a short time to get his feet on the ground, begin establishing relationships with his players, and begin preparations for summer 7-on-7 football games, and eventually, summer pre-season practice. The Eagles defeated several big conference opponents last season, and fans can be assured those teams will have Paris circled on their schedules for this fall. Many of those games, including Atkins and Perryville will be played at home in 2021, and the Eagles need those games to be added to their win column to return to the playoffs.
Resident Press will continue to bring you more on the new Eagles head coach, and on behalf of our readers, RP congratulates Jeff Weaver on his new position and we welcome him to the Paris community. Good luck Coach!