Three veteran Alabama high school coaches have signed on to fill three of the vacant head coaching jobs in the state.
Ramsay's Reuben Nelson has accepted the head coaching job at Shades Valley High School. Nelson revived a dormant Ramsay football program in 2012 that had not played football since 1976, and took them to a state championship in 2016. It took Nelson three seasons at Ramsay to gain success, going 10-2 in 2014 and 13-2 two years later in their state championship season. In nine seasons he was 74-36 with the Rams.
He had arrived at Ramsay from Midfield, where his teams went 40-28 in six seasons. "Shades Valley is a program on the rise and I look forward to building on what is there," said Nelson. "I hope to help these young men become not just successful athletes , but successful students and succesful people."
P.J. Wright is the new head football coach at St. Clair County. He leaves Ardmore where he had a record of 11-19 over three seasons. Before coming to north Alabama, Wright had spent his entire coaching career in the Mobile area. He served as an assistant at Davidson, Gulf Shores and Spanish Fort.
A Birmingham native, the move puts him back closer to home. St. Clair was in the Class 5A semifinals in 2017 and Wright will attempt to put them back to their winning ways. “We have to get to work implementing what I want to do in the offseason. We won’t be able to have a spring training since we are starting late, so we are already a little behind," Wright said to Al.com. "We will have some type of conditioning drills, but not spring training. We will hit the ground running all through the summer.”
Hayden Stockton has been named the new head coach at Marbury. Coach Stockton has spent time as an assistant at at Prattville, Clay-Chalkville, Stanhope Elmore, Enterprise and Central-Phenix City. The Winston County alumnus spent three years (2009-2011) as the head coach at West End in Walnut Grove. His teams there went 10-21, making the playoffs once.
“It just felt like it was time to try my hand at being a head coach again,” Stockton said. “As a coach, that is everyone’s ultimate goal. I’m excited about being able to motivate kids and to bring in my own staff for the first time. I can’t wait to get started.” He is excited about the possibilities at Marbury High School. “I also think the way everything is growing there it will be a special place in the next three or four years.”