Andover Central’s next football coach has been waiting 21 years for the job.
Derek Tuttle, co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, has been promoted to the school’s top football job, replacing Tom Audley, who resigned after the 2018 season. From Andover Central’s state title game run in 2015 to last season’s 5-5 finish, Tuttle has been there throughout.
“I’m very humbled and grateful for this opportunity,” Tuttle said in a news release. “I’m thankful for those who supported me during the process, especially my wife and kids and all the great men I’ve been fortunate to coach with in the past and present.”
Andover Central will bring back almost its entire core this fall. Quarterbacks Shomari Parnell and Chase White will return to lead the offense. Rushers Ty Herrmann and R.J. Bethea will be back, too, along with top receivers Xavier Bell and Matthew Macy.
The Jaguars also bring back seven of their top 10 tacklers, including linebacker Trey Degarmo, who will look to rise a spot as the team’s top tackler after Jack Wiens transferred to Wichita Northwest for his senior season.
“I told the players in a very short meeting that everyone matters — every single one of them,” Tuttle said in the release. “We’re going to try to improve our numbers, improve our program in every facet possible, and increase our focus on developing the core values of student-athletes so that they are successful on and off the field.”
Ahead of the Jaguars’ second-round exit to Goddard, the eventual Class 4A runner-up, Andover Central was on a three-game win streak, which helped secure a tie for third in AVCTL II.
“Exciting things are on the horizon for Jaguar football, as we are taking this opportunity to evaluate everything we do to improve it” Tuttle said in the release.