Committee Nominates Byus To Be New Big Red Football Coach
The Parkersburg High School football program has its next head coach pending Board of Education approval at the June 13 meeting.
Michael A. Byus was selected by a committee composed of former PHS athletic director Jim Hamric, former head of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission Mike Hayden, former Wood County Schools Superintendent and PHS principal Bill Niday, former PHS head football coaches Buddy James and Bernie Buttrey, as well as Big Red principal Kenneth DeMoss.
“We had a lot of good applicants,” said DeMoss, who provided the information to the News and Sentinel. “The committee felt he was the best guy to lead us into the future. This was a very important hire for the community as it affects our support and are junior programs. We are super excited for him.”
The Madison, W.Va., native assumes the Big Reds’ helm after a highly successful 12-year stint at East Lincoln High School in Denver, North Carolina. Under his leadership, the program captured two state titles, played for another, secured a 30-game winning streak, had eight 10-win seasons, seven conference championships and never finished below .500 in any season.
He retired from his position at the school Feb. 17 after an 11-3 campaign and a trip to the third round of the 2-AA playoffs.
Also the athletic director for the Mustangs, Byus compiled a 134-37 record (including 29-10 in the playoffs). His last three teams were 41-4 and outscored opponents 41.5 to 17.8.
When he became the head coach at Easton Lincoln the team was coming off a 2-9 season and had just one conference title and two playoff wins in the history of the school. He left as the all-time winningest coach in school history.
He had previously coached at Robbinsville and Athens Drive in Raleigh. He won his 200th game during the 2016 season.
The new Big Reds’ leader was adamant it would take a lot of hard work to reach the top again.
“I can promise you there are no shortcuts,” said Byus. “There is one way to end up being successful – You have to work hard.
“This can’t be done by just one person. I have never accomplished anything by myself. It starts with a great coaching staff and the great group of guys Mr. DeMoss tells me we have.”
“If you are a Big Red and have always dreamed of playing Big Red football we would sure love to have you,” he added.
News of the position’s availability first reached Byus from his brother-in-law Micky Thompson.
A succession of events followed and eventually led to him applying for the position.
“I came up for the interview and just loved the city and the school is beautiful,” said Byus. “And just the feel from being here. You can feel the rich tradition and I just thank everybody involved and the first class manner in which Mr. DeMoss and the interview committee went about things. I thought it was tremendous and (Mr. DeMoss) was a big reason why I accepted and he did a tremendous job of putting things in place to try and move forward with the program.”
Byus inherits a gridiron squad mired in a tough stretch of football. The Big Reds finished 4-6 the last two seasons and are more than seven years removed from their last second-round appearance in the Class AAA playoffs as of the beginning of next season.