Principal Trey Holladay told The Star today he knew a conversation had taken place between Oxford coach John Grass and Bill Clark, who was introduced as JSU’s new coach on Tuesday, but that he was not privy to the details of the conversation.
“I just know John has talked to Bill,” Holladay said. “I don’t know any details, I don’t know anything.
Holladay denied published reports that he'd said Grass and Clark talked about a job with the Gamecocks.
“They were college buddies and have known each other for years, so I don’t know to what extent or anything. It could be, ‘Congratulations on the job,’ or it could be, ‘Hey, are you interested in coming with me?’ I don’t know anything other than that.”
Jacksonville State spokesman Greg Seitz confirmed there had been talks between the two parties, but he also said he didn't know what the conversation was about. Seitz confirmed Grass had been on campus today.
Attempts today to reach Grass were unsuccessful.
Rumors that Grass is heading to Clark’s staff were circulating on Thursday. That’s when Football Scoop, a website specializing in coaching news reported Grass was leaving to take the position of JSU’s wide receivers coach. The site later amended that report to say the position would be as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
On Thursday, Seitz and Oxford athletic director Larry Davidson said they had no knowledge of the situation.
Seitz went on to say that from a protocol standpoint, nothing could be official.
“The university is shut down,” Seitz said Thursday, citing the holiday schedule. “There would be no announcement until it was back open because of the (human resources) process.”
That department is set to re-open on Jan. 2.
Grass first became a head coach in 1995 with Ashville High School before he began his assent through the prep coaching world.
He had stops at Albertville, Moody and Spain Park, where he guided the Jaguars to the state title game in 2007, and then left to begin his current five-year stint at Oxford.
After making the playoffs in his first four years at Oxford, including a semifinals berth in 2011, the Yellow Jackets went 6-4 this year and missed the playoffs for only the third time since 1984.
Holladay said he had spoken to Grass on Thursday, but it was nothing more than small talk.
“We saw each other (Thursday), wished each other a Merry Christmas and said we’d see each other after the holiday,” Holladay said. “I don’t expect anything other than that.”