Desert Hot Springs High School parted ways with head football coach Errol Wilson on Nov. 8. Just over a month later, the Golden Eagles have hired Wilson's replacement.
Roy Provost, who was the school's defensive coordinator for two seasons prior to 2020, will lead the program moving forward. Provost, who in recent years has worked at Desert Springs Middle School in Desert Hot Springs, coached defensive backs at Rancho Mirage High before his previous stint coaching at Desert Hot Springs.
Provost, 41, was an assistant on the Rattlers' 2016 team, which reached the CIF championship game, before he left with Wilson to coach at Desert Hot Springs. When the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the 2020 season, Provost left the program. He has not coached on the high school level since 2019.
When Wilson's job opened up last month, Provost threw his hat in the ring.
"I'm very excited," Provost said. "It's been a long time coming."
Kai Lyles, the school's athletics director, has now hired three coaches in six years. Lyles said that Provost was well organized and brought a plan to his interviews that would change the culture within a football program that has won just 10 games (with 44 losses) over the last six seasons.
"He was very detailed in his explanations in moving the program forward," Lyles said, "and connecting with the youth in town."
Lyles added that "the panel all agreed his game plan he brought to the table is what we needed to move forward."
Provost said that his top priority will be to help his players academically and bring the community together, which are two points of emphasis the school has had in previous hires. Provost said that the goal will be to put a team on the field that the community will want to proudly support on Friday nights.
Schematically, Provost said that the Golden Eagles will run a spread offense, which is a deviation from the more traditional run-first approach Wilson ran the last five seasons. Defensively, Provost intends to run a multi-front defense that will be versatile enough to defend various offenses in the Desert Valley League.
With much of last year's team being seniors, Provost will have an opportunity to build a team almost from scratch. He said he's in the process of hiring assistant coaches, then will begin implementing team goals for the spring in preparation for his first offseason with his team.
But Provost said that he's just as interested in how he can help his players in life.
"The goal is to get on campus and help these kids with their time management and their priorities," Provost said. "To get these guys graduated and moved on to being successful citizens in the world. Whether they go on to college or trade school or whatever it is that they want to do, our goal is to produce good character people coming out of Desert Hot Springs High School."
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Desert Hot Springs High School hires new football coach