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Vikings next head coach already on staff

Jimmy Trodglen/


By Jimmy Trodglen


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – It didn’t take long for Northwest to find its next head football coach.

And Northwest didn’t have to look far to find him.

Neil Furnish was named the Vikings new head football coach, replacing Vernon Wright who finished a five-year run as head coach when he stepped down in November.

Northwest Athletics Director Jessica Peppard announced Furnish’s hiring in a release Monday night.

Furnish was an assistant coach on Wright’s staff this past season, and his wife, Amy Furnish, is Northwest’s volleyball coach.

“We had a wide variety of interest in this position. We narrowed the large pool of resumes we received and interviewed who we felt were the top candidates for the position,” said Peppard in a release. “Ultimately, the administrative team felt that coach Furnish was the best fit for the position based on his previous head coaching experience and familiarity with our program.”

A Cynthiana, Ky. native, Furnish played football at Harrison County High School before playing football for two years at Eastern Kentucky.

“Football directly correlates with life in various situations,” said Furnish in the release. “Football teaches young men that they are a part of something larger then themselves. Football is a unique endeavor in the fact that it must be a team activity in order to succeed.”

Furnish has been a football coach for 15 years, including three seasons as the head football coach at Harrison County, Ky., where he was 10-22.

Furnish has spent the bulk of his career coaching on the offensive side, which will work in his favor with quarterback Gabe Sibert and the bulk of the Vikings offense expected back next season.

Peppard said Furnish’s coaching experience was one of his strongest attributes.

“Coach Furnish has a wealth of coaching knowledge and has had the opportunity to learn and grow from his various coaching experiences throughout his career,” said Peppard in the release.

Under Wright, Northwest was 17-34 with its best season coming in 2016 when it was 6-5 and reached the 4A playoffs.

The Vikings finished this past season 2-8, ending the year with a seven-game losing streak.

“There are many critical life skills that players must use to be successful in life and in football,” Furnish said. “Some of these are discipline, work ethic, responsibility, accountability, teamwork, and leadership.”

Jimmy Trodglen, editor, Twitter@Tnsports360