Brad Hankins was announced Monday as Purvis’ new head football coach, pending school board approval. Hankins, the team’s defensive coordinator the previous four years, will replace Perry Wheat, who announced his resignation in March. 

“It’s very special. I’m super excited about the chance to coach these guys and try to keep this program headed in the right direction,” Hankins said. “Coach Wheat has done such a great job with it over the last 12 years. It’s kind of set a standard, and hopefully I can live up to that.

“I’ve been with Coach Wheat the last four years. Not only is he a great football coach, he’s a great man to go along with it. The way he handled things, it was definitely a great example for me to learn how to run a program.”

This will be Hankins’ first head coaching opportunity after nearly 20 years in the business as an assistant. 

“It’s something where you always look for the right opportunities and the chance,” Hankins added. “This was definitely one that I’m looking forward to.”

Hankins says the Tornadoes are aiming to start spring practice later this month. But before that, there are a few other items on the agenda. 

“We’re going to try to put a staff together and try to see who we can get in. We’re trying to get the right fit in here for our guys, scheme-wise on what we want to do. Our target date right now for spring practice will be April 30. We’ll just get to work and get ready.”