MANSFIELD (KFSM)–After Craig Bentley departed to take the head coaching role in his hometown Mena, the Tigers began a search for a new football coach. Mansfield didn’t have to look very far to find their man.
Tim Cothran, a long time assistant and offensive coordinator was promoted to head coach in a board meeting on Wednesday night.
“It’s a dream come true. You know, you always dream of being a head coach and to do it in a place like Mansfield…I have family roots here, so it’s awesome,” Cothran said in a phone conversation on Thursday afternoon.
Cothran graduated from Greenwood High School but has always had family ties to the Mansfield area. After coaching under Lonnie Hester for three years at Hartford, Cothran moved on to Greenwood for 11 seasons and won six state championships as an assistant to Rick Jones. In 2012, Cothran departed for Mansfield and was promoted to offensive coordinator three years later when Bentley took over.
|Mansfield||2013 – 2018||Offensive Coordinator/Assistant Coach|
|Greenwood||2002 – 2012||Assistant Coach|
|Hartford||1999 – 2001||Assistant Coach|
Mansfield finished 2018 with an 8-4 record after starting the year 6-0. Cothran piloted the offense and two-time all-state quarterback Ethan Stovall to more than 28 points per game.
The Tigers won more games in 2018 than the previous three seasons combined, and totaled their most wins since 2010. That included a 27-20 first round playoff win over Melbourne.
With 15 returning starters, Cothran looks to challenge defending state champion Booneville for a 3A-1 title.
“You always miss your graduated seniors, but most of our offense and defense is back,” added Cothran. “We’ll have six, seven or eight starters returning on both sides of the ball including most of our top receivers and quarterback.”
The Tigers open the 2019 season on Thursday, August 29 and host Hackett at 7:00 p.m.