Blake Pennock ready to roll as Gulfport head football coach

New year, new coach at Gulfport High School where the Admirals are ready to roll under the direction of Blake Pennock, the former Ocean Springs head man meeting his new players behind closed doors for the first time today and now, it’s time to get to work.

Now wearing his third different shade of blue in the last five years, Blake Pennock still running onto the field on Friday nights the same way  he always has as the first-year head coach of the Gulfport Admirals. “I’m not for everybody. But winning isn’t for everybody either, and I’m going to push you to the point of what we’re going to do and the staff that we have is going to push you to a point that you’re going to have to test yourself, and I really think those guys are looking forward to that and I’m excited about it.”

Pennock certainly has a track record of getting players to buy-in, leading Pass Christian to its first playoff win in program history in 2019 before a 32-5 stretch at Ocean Springs, including back-to-back undefeated regular seasons culminating with the school’s first trip to South State in 13 years in 2022. Gulfport Athletic Director Matt Walters said, “The big thing I wanted to focus on is I didn’t come here to be good. I didn’t come here to be great. I came here to be elite. And really the last thing that he said to me in our interview is what stuck with me is he said, Coach, if I’m coming to Gulfport, I’m not coming just to be good. I’m coming for a revolution.”

Before Pennock got to OS, the Admirals were king of the Coast, winning five Region 4 Class 6A titles over a span of eight years including three straight from 2017-19 as a part of that legendary 23-game district winning streak, started by Eddie Pierce and carried on by John Archie.

But ever since Gulfport’s first round playoff win in 2010, the Admirals just 1-11 in post-season games. “It’s a giant that’s not necessarily sleeping, but I think it’s ready to take a shot of Red Bull and get going, and that’s exactly what we’re here to do is to give it a shot in the arm and roll.”

Pennock has been a part of championship level 6A football as the offensive coordinator of the 2016 state champion Clinton Arrows.

Alongside Athletic Director Matt Walters, that’s the same vision they have for the Blue and Orange. “My expectation isn’t just to win because that’s good, okay. My expectation is to go win at the highest level we can possibly win at, and then do it again, and then do it again, and I think that’s why Blake wanted to come, because he saw that potential to do that here.”

“It’s the ultimate factor. It is the factor. And I’m not probably any different than most coaches, but I have a unique obsession with wanting to hold a gold ball up.”

Pennock is one of 75 coaches that applied for the Gulfport job. He says some of his mentors are Clinton Head Coach Judd Boswell, former Oak Grove Head Coach Nevil Barr, Utah State Head Coach Blake Anderson, and former Southern Miss and UNC Head Coach Larry Fedora.

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