TRAVERSE CITY -- A month ago, Traverse City West found out its only varsity football coach was retiring.

In two months, the Titans hope to have Matt Prisk's successor in place.

And there should be no shortage of candidates.

"We've had some good applicants so far," TC West athletic director Patti Tibaldi said of the coaching search. "We posted it with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) so I think that will bring in even more.

"We've had a lot of phone calls."

Al Slamer, president of the MHSFCA and head coach at Battle Creek Central, said the opening at West has a lot of things going for it that will lead to a lot of candidates.

"It's a football program that has won, that has been in the playoffs," Slamer said. "Plus the area in that part of the state is outstanding."

In his 11 seasons at TC West, Prisk posted a 71-35 record and qualified for the playoffs in each of the past six seasons. The Titans have won or shared seven Big North Conference titles during those 11 seasons.

The vacancy created by the retirement of Prisk, who will continue to teach physical education at the school, will be posted until Jan. 11.

Tibaldi said the school will start interviewing prospective candidates on Jan. 18 and have a new varsity coach named a month later.

"We want someone by Feb. 18," Tibaldi said.

Jerry Angers, Prisk's longtime defensive coordinator, said he has yet to get his resume in for the position. But Angers said he intends to vie for the post.

"I'm sure I will; it's open until January 11," Angers said. "We're just up in the air, waiting to see what happens."

"I know he has some great assistants," added Slamer, who took that route to the varsity position at Battle Creek Central. "I don't know if there's a logical progression there."

Angers said he expects junior varsity coach Jason Leonard to also get his name in the mix. Angers said it should be a big field of candidates.

"I think there will be a lot of people," he said. "You'll get a good number of guys, just like you did for the (Traverse City) Central job."

Slamer said the number of top-notch candidates will grow if the school district has teaching positions open, which Tibaldi said shouldn't be a major issue.

"It's an excellent job," Slamer said. "With the state of the economy in Michigan, sometimes it comes down to what kind of teaching job is offered along with that."

In the interim, Angers said he is busy pursing scholarship opportunities for some of the players from the 2007 team.

He added workouts for players on the 2008 squad will begin the Monday after Christmas break at 6:30 a.m.

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