By KEVIN HARRIS
NEW ALBANY – Steve Cooley is getting another opportunity to lead a Southern Indiana high school football program.
Cooley was approved as the new head coach at New Albany on Monday by the New Albany-Floyd County school board. Cooley was the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator last season under his predecessor Sean Coultis, who resigned as the New Albany head coach earlier this month for personal reasons.
Cooley brings 22 years of head coaching experience to the Bulldogs, as he has a career record of 127-134.
Cooley’s first coaching stint, which was his most successful, was at Harding High School in Fort Wayne. During his six seasons at Harding, Cooley posted a 58-33 record, claimed three sectional championships and won two regional titles.
Cooley became the head coach at Jeffersonville in 2000 and was at the Red Devils’ helm for 10 seasons. He accumulated a 53-55 record at Jeff and guided the Devils to their last sectional championship in 2007. Cooley’s 53 victories are the second-most in school history.
After leaving Jeff in 2009, Cooley became the boss at Clarksville. He led the Generals for six seasons from 2010-15, where he was 16-46.
Cooley had only one winning season at Clarksville. That was in 2012 when the Generals posted a 6-5 record.
Cooley’s New Albany offense last season averaged 340.5 total yards and 31.7 points per game. That production enabled the Bulldogs to post a 5-5 record.
Cooley is expected to have two of his best offensive players back in senior running back Darquan Richardson and junior quarterback Dylan Clark. Last season, Richardson rushed for 1,389 yards and 23 touchdowns and Clark had 1,182 passing yards.
Plus the Bulldogs are expected to have 10 of their 11 defensive starters returning.