Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson

Speculation is rampant but Mary Persons football coach Brian Nelson said he’s not interested in the coaching vacancy at Crisp County, where his father-in-law is athletic director.

“It ain’t happening,” Nelson told the Reporter on Monday. “I ain’t talked to nobody down there. It’s still early, but that would be a tough situation I think.”

Crisp County this week reportedly fired head coach Brad Harber, who led the the Cougars to the state semifinals this fall. Harber was 38-12 in four seasons in Cordele.

With the decision, on-line chatter turned to Nelson. Not only is Nelson’s father-in-law, Jimmy Hughes, the athletic director, but his mother-in-law, Cindy Hughes, is the school superintendent in Crisp County. 

“I’ve gotten 12 phone calls about it today,” said Nelson. “I figured that was coming.”

Nelson said Crisp County loses a lot of its best players to graduation next season so it’ll be a tough situation for whomever is hired. Nelson made $110,033 as MP’s coach and the ISS instructor in 2019-20, according to the state salaries website. Harber made $110,764 at Crisp, according to the site.

Nelson is 84-27 in nine seasons at Mary Persons. The last two have been his toughest, going 4-5 in 2020 and missing the playoffs for the first time as coach. Nelson led the Bulldogs to the Final Four in 2016 and 2017, as well as four straight region titles.