By Brian Bloom
Jeff McFerran has been named coach of the 2013 Bartlett High School football program.
McFerran, who worked last season at the Panther’s offensive coordinator, has a past history of resurrecting pigskin programs including a 2000 state final appearance at Covington.
More than 70 players have greeting McFerran with off-season weight training. Bartlett is coming off a one-win season in 2012.
“Pace,” McFerran said, “will be his mantra this season. “The difference between the past and the present will be pace, during games and in practice.”
McFerran said he’s also looking for speed. With a roster dominated by underclassmen, his goal is bigger, faster, stronger – with speed essential at the skill positions.
Bartlett will run out the I formation with one back and motion, mixing power I with spread.
Two junior-to-be quarterbacks return this season to bolster Bartlett hopes. “They will allow us to kind of develop a package that can expand by who’s behind center,” the coach said.
Defensively McFerran said he hopes to employ a 3-4 and will promote a physical attack. Using four linebackers will allow the Panthers to match-up against what is becoming predominantly spread offenses.
A former all-state performer as running back and linebacker while representing Germantown High School, McFerran led Vanderbilt University to an 8-3 mark as a freshman in 1982. He was named to the freshman All American squad before transferring to finish his career at the Memphis State.
He began his coaching career at Briarcrest and was Millington’s defensive coordinator when the Trojans advanced to the state finals.
McFerran took over the head coaching position at Covington in 1996 leading them to the playoffs and compiling a 51-14 record in seven seasons.
The coach then took over a struggling Tipton Rosemark program in 2001. That school had won six games in the past 14 years prior to his hire. He led the team to a winning mark in 2002.
McFerran left coaching for a number of years to enter the private sector yet volunteered at Christian Brothers as a defensive line coach before coming to Bartlett in 2011.