Return to Football? – With the announcement last week by State School Superintendent Eric Mackey that schools could possibly reopen as early as June 8th for summer school and athletic workouts under phase 1 of a re-entry plan, coaches wait patiently for more specific dates and instructions. Governor Ivey’s “Safer at Home” orders run through May 15th, and state guidelines after that date could help clarify the situation for the month of June. Mackey emphasized the plan was not final and could be altered based on the state’s public health orders. In an Al.com article, AHSAA Director Steve Savarese said, “Currently, we are collaborating with the ALSDE, AHSAA medical advisory board and our coaches to develop best practices for when our schools are allowed to return.” It does look like when schools are able to resume football workouts, that everything will be done in small groups, possibly 10 or fewer.
Former longtime J.O. Johnson coach Harold Wells has replaced Kelvis White at Mae Jemison. Wells spent 24 years as the head coach at J.O. Johnson (1992-2015) before the school was renamed Mae Jemison in 2016. His overall record was 129-135. He took Johnson to the playoffs 14 times, including one appearance in the state semifinals (2006) and four trips to the quarterfinals. White left earlier this spring to take the job at Bob Jones.
Toby Greene has left Florala High School to become the new head coach at Headland. Greene comes to Headland with tons of head coaching experience especially in the Wiregrass where he’s held jobs at Geneva County, Rehobeth, and Cottonwood. He led Florala to a 7-4 record this past season and a berth in the Class 1A playoffs.
Roger McDonald takes over at Dadeville for longtime coach Richard White who retired. For the last seven seasons, McDonald has racked up a 40-33 record at Carroll of Ozark. He led the Eagles to a pair of playoff appearances, including a Class 5A third-round appearance in 2016.
Patrick Plott has replaced McDonald at Carroll of Ozark. Plott has served as an assistant coach at Auburn High School the last six years, including the role as defensive coordinator. “I am excited about the opportunity to take over the Carroll football program,” Plott said. “I truly believe we can develop a system of winning here at Carroll on and off the field. Our mission is to train our players to desire excellence in all of their actions.”
Drew Luker is the new head coach at 1A McKenzie High School. Luker comes to McKenzie after one year stints at T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal as defensive coordinator. “It feels great,” Drew Luker said. “We’re excited. We’ve been very blessed. We’ve always tried to let the Lord lead us. Through prayer and talk and discussion, we felt it was time to make this move. McKenzie came open, and it worked out. I’m excited to get to work.”
Former Alabama State head coach L.C. Cole is the new coach at Park Crossing. “It’s a good situation to bring me back to Montgomery,” he said. “I’ve really never left, but I’ve coached in different parts of the state. It’s good to be back home.” Cole went 8-11 the last two seasons in Loachapoka. His career includes stops at 9 colleges and 4 Alabama high schools.
Jason Rowell has taken over the Luverne football program, replacing Scott Rials who left for Baldwin County. Rowell served as an assistant for several Mobile area school for more than a decade before taking over as head coach at Chickasaw in 2018. Rowell takes over a Luverne Tiger team that went 47-15 in five years under Rials and has historically made some deep playoff runs.
Former Mobile Christian assistant Ed Brown is the new football coach at Washington County High School in Chatom.