December 19 • 08:39 AM

Carlisle named Spartan's new football coach

March 07, 2018
IMLAY CITY — Following months of speculation as to who would direct the Imlay City varsity football team in the future, Imlay City has chosen Jim Carlisle as their new head coach.

He assumes the coaching reigns from Steve Lestage, who stepped down from the sideline assignment after his ballclub went 1-8 last fall.

Carlisle comes to the Imlay City program with over 30 years of experience coaching, including jobs as head coach at Centerline High School and Kennedy High School in Michigan. Most recently he coached a one-year stint with Kenmare High School in North Dakota.

"He sees himself as an offensive minded coach who will be bringing two coordinators whom he has worked with before," Imlay City High School Principal Brian Eddy commented. "While his coaches focus on play calling, he manages the game through his interactions with his players and the officials," he noted.

"He is very relatable to our students, which he demonstrated on each interaction within our building. He is organized and is used to working with all types of people to accomplish outcomes, as he is a small business owner. That business will offer flexibility while he pursues his true passion which is working with young men through the game of football."

Carlisle said is looking forward to the opportunity that lies ahead of him.

"A head football coach, especially in a community like Imlay City, must not only provide the best practice and game day coaching possible, but he must do so in an honorable and accountable manner not only to his players but also to those players' parents and to the administration to whom he ultimately must answer. He must coach the game, but he must do so in a manner that is consistent with all of the other life skills and priorities that the student athletes should be developing while under his watch."

He is the number one candidate from a field of 27 interested parties. Screener interviews took place, narrowing the pool of possible coaches to eight. Those eight men were formally interviewed in front of a panel consisting of administrator, board members, parents and community members. From the first round of formal interviews, two candidates were interviewed in another group setting where they were asked to diagram plays and describe schemes.

It was there Carlisle not only articulated his knowledge of football, but demonstrated his skills in relating to your men and parents, organizational skill as well as salesmanship of the game of football.

Throughout the two weeks when interviews were taking place, Carlisle attended two varsity basketball games (one at home and one away). He had positive interactions with adults and students alike. Carlisle noted that his community supports its school and students in a way that is special. Furthermore, he calls Imlay City a "sleeping giant" when describing the potential he sees here.

"Through hard work and an unrelenting positive attitude, I see a bright future for Mr. Carlisle, our students and our community through our football program," Eddy stated.

Kevin Kissane has been covering high school sports for the Tri-City Times since 1985. When not standing on a field or court with his camera and notepad, he enjoys golf, travel and family. Kevin is a 1980 graduate of Capac High School, and is also a grad of St. Clair Community College and earned a degree in journalism from Central Michigan University.
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