The annual coaching carousel has started in spite of the 2020 coronavirus outbreak. Most people wondered if that would limit the amount of coaching moves but as we roll into February, it looks as the movers have been pretty busy.
Andrew Zow has left Sylacauga to take a player development job with Clemson University. Zow leaves after one season at Sylacauga. He had previously coached at Montevallo (4 years), Calera (3 years) and Bessemer City (1 year) before becoming head coach at Sylacauga.
Sean Calhoun of Carrollton, Georgia has been named the new head coach at Vestavia Hills replacing the retiring Buddy Anderson. Calhoun was 51-12 in five seasons at Carrollton. He knows replacing a legend can be difficult but is looking forward to the challenge. "If you are at one place for that long, you are doing it right. That is what I’m trying to emulate," he said. "I’m not coming to Vestavia Hills to leave in three years. Who knows if 43 is in the cards? To be able to come and learn from him – one of the best that has ever done it in any state -- is exciting."
After retiring from the NFL, Phillip Rivers is set to become the new coach at St. Michael's Catholic in Fairhope, following in his father's footsteps. Steve Rivers was an outstanding coach in North Alabama for many years. He is set to take over in April. He became the coach in waiting last May. "As the days went by, we felt more and more like God had a hand in this and laid it in our lap from a standpoint of location, school, vision and a young football program," Rivers said. "It just made sense."
Norman Joseph is the new coach at McGill Toolen, replacing Ernest Hill who took a job at the University of South Alabama. Joseph comes from Catholic High in Baton Rouge, where he was offensive coordinator. He was chosen from over 50 applicants. Joseph, 66, has spent much of his career as a head coach in small colleges. He has had head coaching stints at Belhaven (1998-2000), Louisiana College (2004) and Mississippi College (2005-2013). He started the program at Belhaven. His overall head coaching record is 63-70. “I feel like you have to adapt your schemes to your players to give yourself the best chance for success, Joseph said. "You have to find out what the players’ strengths are and adapt to your talent. So, that will be the first thing we do.”
Gulf Shores hired another former college coach when they tabbed former Louisiana College coach Mark Hudspeth. His most recent job was at Austin Peay University, where he went 11-4 in 2019. he resigned before the 2020 season citing personal reasons. Hudspeth coached at the University of North Alabama from 2002-2008, accumulating a 66-21 record and winning a pair of Gulf South Conference titles. He spent seven years (2011-2017) as head coach at Louisiana, going 29-38. “Tyla, my boys and I are excited to be joining the Gulf Shores Dolphin family,” Hudspeth said. “I am looking forward to leading a team that is part of a community that we care so much about. Our goal is to develop a program that everyone can be proud of and that develops young men on and off the field.”