In closed session Monday evening, the Sedalia School District 200 Board of
Education approved the hiring of Josh Gray as head coach for the Smith-Cotton Tigers football program.

Gray replaces Charlie McFail, who announced his retirement from the
position at the end of the 2021 season. Gray, who will teach at the high
school, has 25 years of coaching experience. For the past 16 years, he has
been at Kearney High School – 11 years as the defensive coordinator and
the past five years as head coach. He also served as Kearney’s head
strength and conditioning coach.

Smith-Cotton Athletic Director Rob Davis said the search committee was
immediately impressed with Gray’s “passion, energy, knowledge and
detailed plan for building our program. As one of our adult committee
members said immediately after his interview, ‘Wow. He makes me want to
suit up and go play for him right now.’"

Davis added: "Coach Gray is a tremendous coach who I expect to make an
immediate positive impact on not just our football team, but our entire
athletic department. He has the 'it' factor you associate with
transformational leadership. He has a clear vision for the future of our
program and has the ability to communicate that vision to our stakeholders
and motivate them to buy in."

Gray and his wife, Mindy, who also was hired as a Project Lead the Way
teacher at Smith-Cotton Junior High, have two sons: Hunter, 22, who
attends UMKC studying mechanical engineering, and Beau, 15, who will be a
sophomore at S-C High. Gray is looking forward to meeting the football
team and coaching staff to begin building relationships.

“I am excited to work with the athletes and coaches and lead the program
to a new level, to begin our journey in getting better,” he said. “We will give
100 percent effort in making the school and community proud of what we
do on the field and off the field. We will use football as a way to help
develop the athletes and prepare them for their future after high school. We
will play sound special teams with attention to detail; we will play a physical,
attack-style defense; and the offense will make opposing defenses defend
the entire field."

Davis has confidence that Gray will make an immediate positive impression.
"I believe in Coach Gray,” Davis said. “I have no doubt that after a short
time with him, our players, returning coaches, and our entire community will
also believe that he can be the catalyst that leads our program into a
successful new era."

Gray is ready to get started.

“I'm honored to be leading the Smith-Cotton Tigers,” he said.