Bennett Jones, an assistant football coach at Clayton, was named as the head coach at nearby West Johnston three days before practice began on Friday, Aug. 1.
He used Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of that week to work with his assistant coaches and met on Thursday night with the parents of prospective players.
"Being with the players and starting practice was the easiest part," Jones said. "These are great kids.
"But I had a lot to do in a short period of time. I had to clean out my locker at Clayton, move my classroom materials and get situated at a new school."
Jones, who was 10-11 in two years as a head coach at Wilson Beddingfield, said he wasn't looking a job when former West coach Kwame Dixon unexpectedly resigned.
"But this was an opportunity that I didn't think I could pass," Jones said. "Here was a chance to be a 4-A head coach and not have to relocate my family. The more I investigated the school, the better I liked the situtation."
Jones said one of his primary tasks is to make sure everybody is in the same boat, headed in the right direction. In this case, he is joining the boat rather than bringing his own.
"There is no time for big changes," he said. "I'm adapting to what West was already doing. Luckily, I'm familiar with what West has been running."
Dixon already has put his own imprint on the program — no earrings, hats worn with the bill to the front or back, no sagging pants.
"We're trying to become a bigger part of the community," Jones said. "I want people to say, 'That guy is a West Johnston football player. He must be a good guy.' I told the parents that I am a competitive guy and I want my teams to win, but what I want much more is to help these players become better men."