More fallout from firing: Taylor, Cairns to Spring Hill

By Maurice Patton

Josh Taylor and Montana Cairns began football practice this week as assistant coaches at Columbia Central.

By the weekend, they were members of the Spring Hill staff.

Fourth-year Raiders coach Ben Martin confirmed Saturday that the two are on board, both on a non-faculty basis.

“We’re happy to have both of them,” Martin said, as the moves follow veteran Lions coach Jason Hoath’s Monday dismissal after five seasons and John Moore subsequently being named his interim replacement. “Both those guys have coached in our new region (6-5A) and bring a lot of knowledge.

“We’re excited to have them. We need the help and they were available. It’s a good situation.”

Cairns, a 2018 Central graduate and a two-way standout on the Lions’ 2017 Class 5A state playoff team, will likely coach defensive line at Spring Hill after spending the past season at his alma mater.

“Spring Hill is obviously not my alma mater. It’s not Columbia Central in any way, shape or form,” Cairns said. “But me and Coach Martin share the same views about shaping young men into men of character. I feel like he’s family-oriented, he’s about building kids.

“I had a lot of respect for Coach Hoath. He gave me an opportunity coming out of college. Unfortunately, I lost my scholarship due to the football program (at Lindenwood, Mo., University) ending. He gave me the first shot, called me up and gave me an opportunity. He left, I got to know Coach Martin, and he and Coach Hoath have a similar (philosophy) toward young men. I’m just trying to be under a coach I really could relate to.”

Taylor had served as defensive coordinator since 2017 following a one-year stint at Summit, and as freshman coach at Central for five years previously. His duties have yet to be determined, according to Martin.

“I talked to (Martin) Friday; we had a good talk. I just really like where he’s going with the program,” Taylor said. “I wouldn’t say I wasn’t a fan of where Central was going with the program, but I can say I didn’t know. I didn’t want to leave the kids, at all, but I did want to be somewhere that my thoughts, my philosophies, my schemes are more aligned.

“It’s not about me, but it’s about using my skillset. If I have to change my skillset, I’m not as effective. I felt I can be more effective at Spring Hill.”

Taylor and Cairns, who join Spring Hill assistants Matt Brown, Derrian Waters, Chad Brothers, Calvin McDonald, Allen Mote and Ben Johnson. were officially introduced at a team mothers’ luncheon Saturday.

“Montana’s a young guy, but he’s eager and asks a lot of good questions,” Martin said. “He knows what he’s talking about. Josh was DC at Columbia; obviously he and I have talked a lot of football the last two days on the whiteboard. I’m predominantly a defensive guy myself.”

Martin also said he has had conversations with Hoath – a Spring Hill graduate – as well as former Lions offensive coordinator Scott Tilghman regarding their potential additions to the Raider staff.

“I’ve obviously talked to Jason a bunch,” he said. “Jason and I were good friends prior to any of this. I think he’s just trying to figure out what makes sense, what’s the best decision for him and his family. If it were just him, I think it’d be different, but he’s got two sons that are in high school (Jase, a junior tight end/defensive end, and Nate, a freshman running back/linebacker), that he has to think about their options as well and how that looks for him going forward.

“We’ve obviously been talking with Jason, and Scott as well. We’re just at a stage right now where they’re having to figure some things out.”

Central travels to Spring Hill in the Region 6-5A and regular-season finale for both teams, on Oct. 29.

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