Van Buren made it official Tuesday evening by approving the hire of former Arkansas Razorback captain and offensive coordinator for Bentonville West.
“He’s a high-energy guy,” said Dr. Harold Jeffcoat at the conclusion of the board meeting. “His offensive style is something the community can get excited about. He can make a significant contribution to our school system. With all the changes with the program over the past few years we felt it has been adrift, but with bringing in Casey Dick, the tide is changing. We’re looking forward to the future and can’t wait to see our first game.”
Dick is the eighth head coach for the Pointers in 22 years and since Van Buren won the Class 4A state title in 1996. The Pointers has just two winnings seasons in that span and one winning conference record.
“This is an opportunity to come into a community that has tremendous support. Talking with Dr. Jeffcoat and everybody, they have a common goal and a common plan. They want to see something happen and they want to see success,” said the new head coach on Thursday evening. “That’s one of the things which attracted me here, Mr. (Drew) Cone and everybody involved, they’re all on the same page and to get that at any place you go is really difficult. It all fit and it all fell into place.”
During the board meeting on Tuesday, Jeffcoat described the prospective coach as being a young guy with “great success as an offensive coordinator, and has moved up in the coaching ranks fairly quickly.”
On Thursday, the school board had another session to approve the hire of Kenneth Chick and Crosby Tuck. Chick has been with the Greenwood football program since 1998 and will be the new defensive coordinator for the Pointers. Greenwood has won eight state championships during his tenure at the school, including the 2017 Class 6A title. Chick shared defensive coaching duties with Jason Gill this past season. Chick is a 1989 graduate of Hartford.
Tuck returns to Arkansas after a coaching stint in Georgia and was the head coach for Georgia Christian. Tuck played wide receiver for the Razorbacks from 2007 to 2010 and began his coaching career in Florida before returning for a stay at Shiloh Christian and Pea Ridge before going to Georgia.
“The things Coach Chick has done at Greenwood kind of speaks for itself. He’s won eight state championships and he’s coming over to be a part of our program. I was talking to him the other day and he’s thrilled to come over here, and ready to get started on the defensive side of the ball,” said Dick. “I played with Crosby Tuck at Arkansas and his offensive knowledge and the relationship-building skills he has with the kids and community can take where we’re at and put it on the next level.”
Dick returned to Arkansas back in 2014 as an assistant at Rogers Lakeside and moved to Bentonville West in 2016.
“I’m going to be involved with the kids. I’m a big relationship builder. We’re gonna play fast-paced. We’re not gonna walk around and do the little things right. We’re gonna do things full tilt, 100 percent, and hopefully throughout the season, be the most disciplined team week in and week out.
He played quarterback for both Houston Nutt and Bobby Petrino during the 2005-08 seasons.
In his only season as a starter in high school at Allen, Texas, Dick threw for over 2,300 yards and 22 touchdowns.
He was part of the recruiting class which included Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.
Dick began as a back-up to Robert Johnson in 2005 but became the starter by the end of the season. He was sidelined his sophomore year due to an injury but came back after Mitch Mustain was benched. Dick led Arkansas to the SEC Championship Game against No. 4 Florida. In 2007, he was part of the three overtime upset in Baton Rouge of LSU, the No. 1 and eventual national champion.
He was undrafted by the NFL but had a plan to be a coach.
Dick was the quarterback coach and co-offensive coordinator at Byron Nelson High School, five miles west of Southlake, Texas. Four years later, Dick was back in Northwest Arkansas.
He was later hired by Bryan Pratt, Bentonville West head coach, to be the offensive coordinator and to coach quarterbacks.
Last season, the Wolverines finished 9-2 after a 9-0 start and ended the season with a 48-40 loss to Conway. Bentonville West finished with 5,067 yards of offense with Will Jarrett throwing for 3,472 yards and 33 touchdowns.
The new head coach replaces Greg Werner after three seasons. Werner left Van Buren earlier in the spring to be the head coach at Muskogee Hilldale.