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Sports Center

Aug 16, 2011 10:02 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Franklin To Succeed Phillips As Southampton Head Coach

Aug 16, 2011 11:17 AM

Edgar “Hikey” Franklin, the Southampton football team’s longtime defensive coordinator, was expected to be named as the successor for head coach Darren Phillips, who will step down from his post at the end of the 
2011 season, at Tuesday night’s Southampton School Board meeting at the intermediate school.

Franklin is homegrown, having starred at defensive end and tight end for the Mariners in the early 1990s. He finished as the school’s all-time sacks leader, a record he still holds. Franklin went on to play at Nassau County Community College before suffering a career-ending knee injury.

He has served as an assistant coach under Phillips for the head coach’s entire eight-year tenure at the helm.

“He’s a player’s coach,” Phillips said of Franklin. “The kids love him, and I think they respect him, because he played here. He’s always been able to connect with the kids.”

The Mariners reviewed candidates from inside as well as outside the district; there were six applicants for the vacancy. “We were looking for the best person to fit the position,” Phillips said.

Phillips will stay on this season, his eighth at the helm of the Mariners. He coached six years in Virginia and another in North Carolina before settling in as Southampton’s athletic director and football coach. He stressed the importance of staying on another year as coach, which will allow Franklin to hit the ground running with his off-season program once the 2011 campaign is over.

Phillips will remain on as athletic director, a role he has filled for 11 years. As for his resignation as head coach, Phillips said, “You start to spread too thin, and I think it’s just time for somebody else to come in and see what they can do. … I know it’s time to move on. You can kind of feel it inside you. I love the sport, I would love to still be involved, but the head coach is a big job. It’s a big-time commitment, and there are other things I want to do.”

Franklin could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Practice begins Thursday for all Suffolk County football programs. The Mariners are set to open the season at Shoreham-Wading River on September 10. In the pre-season rankings, the Mariners were seeded 11th out of 14 teams in Division IV.

Key components returning from last year’s 3-5 squad include quarterback Teague Florio, running back Strongheart Warrior and lineman Malcolm Williams.

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Congratulations Hickey! Bring back the Glory!\
By Lester Ware (15), Sag Harbor on Aug 17, 11 1:33 PM