Hutson is choice to lead Berryville football

Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Bryan Hutson

The Berryville Bobcats have a new head coach, but he’s not new to coaching.

The Berryville school board voted unanimously to hire veteran coach Bryan Hutson after a special called meeting on Monday, April 5.

“I’m excited,” Hutson said. “It’s something my wife and I prayed about, and I’m just excited to get started. I’ve toured the town. The facilities are fantastic. The support seems like it is going to be off the charts. And the relationship I’ve already built just talking to the admin seems really genuine, so it’s something that my wife and I are excited to do.”

Berryville superintendent Owen Powell said the excitement is mutual.

“We’re really excited about Coach Hutson,” Powell said. “He has almost 30 years of coaching experience and a lot of that as a head coach. He’s been very successful over the course of his career and we’re just really excited to get him at Berryville.”

Hutson has spent the past three seasons as head coach at Elkins High School, compiling an overall record of 20-13 and leading the Elks to three consecutive appearances in the state playoffs. Elkins went 8-3 last season after joining the 4A-1 conference. The Elks were scheduled to play at Berryville on Oct. 8, 2020, but the game was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns for Berryville— one of three games the Bobcats lost to the pandemic last fall.

Berryville finished 0-7 and Coach Doug Shott resigned in February after four seasons as the Bobcats’ head coach, with a record of 8-29. Hutson will be Berryville’s fifth head coach since the start of the 2010 football season.

Powell said he and Hutson share a common goal for the school district’s football program.

“We have the same vision to develop athletes to their fullest potential, and to prepare students to become productive citizens and for life after school through athletics and academics,” Powell said.

Powell also pointed to Hutson’s history of rebuilding programs.

“Over the course of his career, he’s gone to schools that don’t have a big history of winning whenever he got there, and turning programs around,” Powell said. “That’s one of the things that he mentioned. He knows that we’ve kind of been down for a while and and he wants to be the guy to come in here and really get us turned around. That was one of the things one of the big things he said. … And he fully believes that he can he can get it turned around here at Berryville.”

Hutson said the opportunity to rebuild a program was part of what made the Berryville job attractive.

“It gets that fire going again and it’s something really exciting and fun,” he said. “From what I’ve been told the community support is really good and it could be really, really exciting.”

Before moving to Elkins, Hutson spent 10 seasons as head coach at Paris between 2007 and 2018 —leaving the sideline to serve as a high school principal from 2015 to 2017. His Paris teams reached the postseason six times and Hutson was voted the conference’s coach of the year in 2012.

A 1990 graduate of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Hutson began his coaching career as an assistant at Paris in 1991. He later served as head coach at Decatur; Colcord, Okla.; Little Rock McClellan and North Little Rock. Hutson’s 2006 North Little Rock team reached the state semifinals.

Hutson received a master’s degree in educational leadership in 2006 from Harding University in Searcy.

Hutson remains under contract with the Elkins School District but both he and Powell said they hope an agreement can be reached with Elkins officials that would allow Hutson to be at Berryville in time for the start of spring practice next month.

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