BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After they parted ways with head coach Bobby Hall over a contract dispute, Biloxi didn't have to look far for his replacement. The Indians introduced Katlan French as their newest head football coach, after he spent the previous three seasons under Hall as their defensive coordinator.
"I'm so fortunate to be here," French said at his introductory press conference Wednesday. "This is one of the best places I've ever been in my life."
As Biloxi officials sorted through over 70 applications from 11 different states for the position, French oversaw the team on an interim basis. It was during that time the Indians realized they already had their man on campus.
"It's just a difficult process when you're going through a coaching change," French said. "Basically, the thing we sold to our kids was control what you can control. You can't control who the next head coach is, all you can control is what you do. We tried to make it fun while we were working hard, and I think the kids really enjoyed our coaching style and things like that. That may have been what was noticed."
"The kids were all excited," Biloxi athletic director Tom Gladney said. "Because the kids were excited, their parents were excited, and a lot of things began to fall together. The more we looked at it, we knew we had the man on campus that we needed."
French inherits an Indians squad that went just 12-22 in the last three seasons, including a lone playoff appearance in 2016. The nine-year coaching veteran said the goal is to return to the postseason much sooner than later.
"We want to do more than just make the playoffs," French said. "We want to actually make noise in our district. We don't want that fourth seed, we want to move it on up there to the top. But you can't just say that, there's a lot of things that have to go into that. Playoffs, I mean, you can't get to the Big Dance without getting to the playoffs. The Coast has struggled in the playoffs as of late, but I do think at some point, we're gonna make some noise."