Football: Eldridge to depart for Farmington

North Little Rock football coach J.R. Eldridge told his players on Monday morning he'd be departing the program.

The destination is Farmington High School in northwest Arkansas where he is the lone finalist for the head coaching position there after the retirement of Mike Adams in December.

North Little Rock School District spokesman said, "no" when asked if Eldridge's departure was official and that's technically correct, if a bit misleading.

The Farmington School Board will make it official on Jan. 25 at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

“J.R. has won at every level and will be successful because he is a great leader, but more importantly he is a developer of young people,” said Jon Laffoon, the superintendent of Farmington schools in a press release.

Eldridge guided North Little Rock to the Class 7A championship game this past season in his first year at the school. It was North Little Rock's fifth title game appearance in the last five years.

“I am grateful to Mr. Laffoon, Coach [Beau] Thompson, and the interview committee for choosing me as the candidate who will be presented to the Farmington School Board for the head coach position at Farmington High School," Eldridge said in a release. "I am excited about the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of players, compete for state and conference championships, and build lasting relationships within the Farmington community."

Details of the Farmington contract were not released, but Eldridge was paid $88,278.95 at North Little Rock. The North Little Rock contract was obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request on Monday and it is straight-forward contract that lists his salary also includes $10,500 for being the head football coach. It doesn’t include any provisions for additional compensation nor does it include any teaching duties or lack thereof. The lone stipulation was that Eldridge could be assigned other duties by his supervisor.

North Little Rock football coach J.R. Eldridge. (Jaison Sterling photo)