Jordan Marcum — who last fall joined the Madison Central football staff and planned to lead the school’s track and field team in the spring — wanted to spend at least a few years with a 6A program and see what opportunities might open up within the next decade.
His wait lasted six months.
Marcum was named the head football coach at Estill County on Wednesday. It is the Bell County graduate’s first head coaching job after stints as an assistant at Jackson County, East Jessamine and Madison Central, all of whom made program history while Marcum was on staff.
He succeeds Mike Jones, who stepped down after 18 years with the program. Estill County competes in Class 3A and beginning this fall will be in a six-team district with Bell County, Garrard County, Jackson County, McCreary Central and Rockcastle County.
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Jackson County, where Marcum helped start a youth football program, made its postseason debut while he was there (2009-2013). From 2014-2017 he was the defensive coordinator at East Jessamine, which won its first two district titles in 2016 and 2017. He coached defensive backs and specialists last fall for Madison Central, which won its first region title and reached the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
He took East Jessamine’s track-and-field program to new heights while he was there, coaching multiple event state champions and transforming it into one of the school’s most well-participated programs; it had 25 athletes when he took it over and 60 in his final season.
Marcum looked forward to having a similar impact at Madison Central.
“I was getting ready to be at one of the nicest facilities in the state,” Marcum said. “They just had a cross country team get third place in the state and I was licking my chops thinking, ‘Oh man, what did I walk into here.’ And then this ended up happening. This was not something that was planned, for sure.”
Marcum’s wife is from Estill County, which is home to about 14,000 people (Nicholasville and Richmond each dwarf it with more than 30,000 people apiece). She sold him on how much football can matter in a place like that.
“With a community that small, it’s something they’ve gotta rely on being good and being proud of something,” Marcum said. “There’s a lot of pride in Estill County. They want to see something like their football program come up and really do something and be proud of it. That’s one thing I’m really excited about.”
Marcum has been asked to also lead Estill County’s track and field team but doesn’t think he’ll ultimately be the head coach. He wants to stay involved with track and field, though.
“It’s important and I want the kids to know it’s important, too,” Marcum said.