"So, I might do that again. I'd really like to."
Never a self-proclaimed tactician, Messinger's success at South Charleston came largely from his ability to manage a capable staff of assistant coaches, and from instilling self-discipline into a program that had for years been equipped with talent but lacking the on-field results to show it.
"It's never been about the Xs and Os. I've always said that," Messinger said.
"I love the game. I love football. But mostly, it's about the kids. I've always tried to stress the importance of being good sons, good citizens and good students. Hopefully the next guy they get in there will be able to continue that message."
The irony of Messinger's emphasis on discipline is that his last playoff win came on Nov. 19, 2010, against Hurricane.
That game, now remembered more for the benches-clearing brawl between the Eagles and Redskins that ended it prematurely, saw SC rally from sure defeat in the final minutes to secure a third consecutive trip to the Class AAA playoff semifinals. Messinger and his team led by 2009 Kennedy Award-winning quarterback Tyler Harris, defeated Brooke in the semis, but were later forced to forfeit the win for the use of several players who had been ejected from the quarterfinal victory, including Harris.
South Charleston has not returned to the playoffs since. The team finished 6-4 in 2012, but a 7-6 upset loss at Ripley on Oct. 19 effectively kept it out of the postseason.
With a win over the Vikings, the Black Eagles would have been seeded No. 9 in the Class AAA playoffs. They finished at No. 17, tied with Logan.
One of the potential options for Messinger's replacement is current SC offensive coordinator Donnie Mays. The architect of the Black Eagles' zone-read offense under Messinger, Mays has been considered one of the best potential coaches in the area for several years, but has remained with the SC program as many other schools have hired new coaches. Most recently, Mays' name has been mentioned by various sources as a candidate for the job at Riverside.