Alabama high school football teams continue to hire their new coaches as March moves toward April and spring football practice.
Bessemer City has hired former Alabama defensive lineman Rudy Griffin. Griffin comes from East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi. Before that he spent five seasons as defensive coordinator at Hewitt Trussville. Griffin will be the fifth coach for Bessemer City in the last five years.
“I’m really excited and this is actually a huge blessing for me and my family,” Griffin said. “Bessemer City is what I like to think is a sleeping giant.”
Andrew Zow has been named the new head coach at Sylacauga High School. He replaces Matt Griffith who had the Aggies on solid footing. They had won at least 7 games in 11 of the last 12 seasons.
Zow is coming off a year at the helm of the 6A Bessemer City Purple Tigers. Before taking over the Bessemer City program in 2019, Zoe lead the Calera Eagles for three seasons posting a 16-18 record including a pair of playoff births. He began his Alabama high school coaching career at the helm of the Montevallo Bulldogs program from 2012-2015, leading the 4A program to a combined 13-29 record and a trip to the second round of the AHSAA postseason in 2015.
Rodney Bivens, Jr. is the new head coach at Central Tuscaloosa. He was on the Central staff, having served as offensive coordinator for the 2019 season. Before that he had been Gardendale’s offensive coordinator in 2018. Bivens also served on the Hewitt Trussville staff prior top his stint in Gardendale. A Central alumni, Bivens father was the head coach at several Alabama schools, including Anniston. He is currently head coach at Miles College.
“All those days in Anniston I spent in the field house and the weight room and just watching my dad in action and seeing what he was able to do for those young men,” Bivens said. “I set out on a mission to go out and learn as much football as I could and gain as much knowledge and bring it back for these kids so that they can have the best high school experience they possibly could.”
Juan Williams has been selected by Lafayette High School as their new head coach. Williams comes to the Bulldogs from Greensboro. Williams put together a 6-14 record at Greensboro, including a 2-8 campaign in 2019. Prior to his arrival at Greensboro, he spent four years as the head coach at Monroe County and eight years prior to that at Barbour County.
“I’m ready to get in the weight room with these guys,” Williams said. “We’re trying to move things as quick as possible for me to get over there and get started with these guys and build relationships with these guys — relationships that go beyond the field.”
Shades Valley has named Jamie Mitchell from North Little Rock High School in Arkansas as their new head coach. Mitchell arrives to the Mounties fresh off of an 8-5 season that concluded with a 21-7 loss to Bryant (Arkansas) in the 2019 state championship game. Under Mitchell’s leadership, the Charging Wildcats claimed the 2017 state championship following a 13-0 season. In the past five seasons with the Charging Wildcats, Mitchell has gone 53-12 with four consecutive state championship game berths.
“I am honored to be selected to lead the athletics program and football team at Shades Valley High School,” Mitchell said. “As the head football coach and athletic director, I will pour my heart into creating an overall program that the school, district administration and community can be proud of. I am excited to get started, meet the players and coaching staff, faculty and community.
Trinity Presbyterian has hired former star Granger Shook to lead the Wildcat program. Shook was an integral part of Trinity’s 2003 state championship team as a linebacker. He comes to Trinity from Prattville, where he has spent the last four seasons. Shook played his college football at Huntingdon College.
“Right now I’m trying to soak it all in,” Shook said. “I’m just excited and thankful for the opportunity over there.”