Laurel School District names new athletic director

ryan earnest

Laurel High School’s newly appointed football coach Ryan Earnest will now have an additional administrative role for the Laurel School District. At Tuesday’s meeting of the Laurel School District Board of Trustees, the board unanimously approved Earnest as athletic director, replacing longtime coach and AD Todd Breland who accepted a position as head football coach at South Jones High School.

“I just want to pick up the torch and finish the great work done by my predecessor,” Earnest said. “Coach Breland has taken this program to new heights and I look forward to continuing the good work he started and take our programs to the next level. “

Earnest brings to the table seven years of experience as an athletic director and 16 years of experience as a coach. Prior to rejoining the Laurel High School football program as an assistant coach in 2019, he coached at Sumrall High School, Wayne County High School, Collins High School and Ridgeland High School. During his time at Collins, he helped lead the Collins Tigers in back-to-back state championships in 2014 and 2015. In September of this year, the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association recognized Earnest as a Certified Athletic Administrator having demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the field of interscholastic athletic administration through the NIAAA.

“With his past experiences as both a coach and athletic director, we expect great things from Ryan Earnest,” said Superintendent Dr. Toy Watts. “He has an exceptional understanding of the important role an athletic director plays in a school district as a guide for our coaches and a mentor for our students.”

Earnest will assume the duties of athletic director on February 1, 2020.

“As athletic director, I look forward to developing strong relationships with our coaches, being a resource and a servant to them,” Earnest said. “The ultimate attribute of a good leader is servanthood and I look to serve.”

“One of my dreams has always been to come back as head football coach,” he continued. “On a bigger scale, I wanted to pour into my community in a special way. Being the athletic director gives me a very important platform where I can accomplish that goal.”