Former Georgiana coach Ezell Powell is the new coach at McKenzie High School after working as an assistant last season at Thomasville.
The wild 2022 AHSAA coaching carousel is finishing up as we approach the start of fall football practice in a few short weeks.
This year looks to set a record for the number of coaching changes. There have been 90 positions filled since the end of the season and there are presently 5 head coach openings. Overall, 24.6% of AHSAA school hired new coaches for the 2022 football season.
The biggest turnover per classification was in 6A, where literally 33.3% or one third of all schools have new head coaches. The smallest amount of turnover was in the small classifications. Class 2A saw a 20% change in head coaches and Class 1A had a 19% rate of turnover.
Of the 90 new coaches, 12 came from out of state. Nine of those were assistants and three were head coaches in other states. All had previous ties to the state of Alabama except one.
There were two former college coaches hired, one a head coach and one an assistant. Wetumpka was the only school to hire a former professional football player from last year.
There were 76 hires from within the state of Alabama, with 53 of those being assistant coaches last year and 23 working as head coaches.
There were 25 assistant coaches that were hired as head coach at the same school (26%).
Only 22 of the 95 head coaches who resigned their AHSAA jobs in the off season have taken another AHSAA head coaching job. The others took an out of state job, an AISA position, an assistant's job, a job in college or left to go into administration or retirement.
Schools that lose their head coach in the summer will generally turn to someone on the staff if they have a capable assistant who wants the job.
Of the 10 hirings so far in 1A, nine of those were assistant coaches and six were on staff hires. Another interesting thing about 1A is that those hirings tend to take place late in the school year or summer. Those head coaches resign later. Some take assistant jobs at bigger schools when school gets out.
Class 2A has had 10 hirings so far as well with nine assistant coaches winning those positions. However, only two were "on staff" hires. The rest of the assistants came from bigger schools. There were more head coaches hired for 3A positions (5) than 1A and 2A combined (2). Four of those coaches came from 3A or larger schools with the other a former AISA head coach.
Class 4A saw 17 hires (27.4%) with 11 of those being assistants. All but one assistant came from a school that was 4A or larger. One of the tendencies in all classifications seems to be that if an assistant is hired, that coach is either from that school or from the same or a larger classification. The head coaches that were hired from in state for the 4A jobs had a combined record of 18-24 last season.
In Class 5A, of the 13 hires (23.2%) that have taken place, only 1 school hired a head coach (Patrick Browning who left Pike Road for Greenville). The 12 assistants all worked at 5A or larger schools and 1 hire was a college assistant.
The two biggest classifications hire more head coaches. Several of these are successful at lower levels and are moving up rather than dropping in classification as happens in 1A-5A. All of the assistants hired were from 6A or 7A teams. 13 of the 28 hires in 6A and 7A were already head coaches. In 7A, only 1 school made an "on staff" hire.
Of the top 13 jobs available in the off season (those jobs with great tradition that are known for winning and have also had recent success) - six of those jobs were filled with assistant coaches already on the staff. Another school hired a former assistant coach who was out of state. Two of those schools hired former players. One school hired a head coach who was at a smaller school in the system. Another school hired a head coach who had previously coached in the same school system as the superintendent who hired him for the new job. These stats tell us that the best jobs go to coaches who have ties to the primary decision makers at the school. Young coaches who would love to seek such positions in the future should take note. The best way to capture one of those jobs is to work as an assistant at one of those schools and be the best coach on the staff. Do a great job with your teaching assignment and be professional in all of your dealings with other teachers, administrators, parents and students. Someone of note is always watching the kind of job that you do. Those that hire would prefer to give the job to a coach they are familiar with and feel good about their character, work ethic and professionalism. Coaches should also remember that the person who is assistant principal at your school today, may be the superintendent at a school system which has a football team with great tradition a decade from now. Truly, every day that you coach is like a job interview for the future.
School Old Coach New Coach Last Job
Barbour County Chad Martin Daniel Powell Asst HS Georgia
Benjamin Russell Aubrey Blackwell Smitty Grider Dothan HC
Billingsley Phil Coggins Lanny Jones Gulf Shores Asst Coach
Blount Dedrick Sumpter Josh Harris Scarborough M.S.
Brooks Brad Black Tim Bowens Clark Univ HC
Carver Birmingham Derone Fagan Rod Carson Beaumont Tx OC
Central Hayneville Michael Perry
Chelsea Dustin Goodwin Todd Cassity Pennington HC
Chickasaw Ryan Little
Chilton County Tai Morrison Marvin Morton Chilton Co DC
Cleveland Gardner Gilliland Will Glaze Central Phenix City asst
Colbert County Brett Mask Scotty Hannah Centerville (Tn) Asst
Cold Springs Justin Cornelius Brendan Voce Cold Springs Asst
Columbia Nicholas Wells Josh LouAllen Austin Asst
Crossville Josh Taylor Riley Edwards Crossville Asst
DAR Hunter Holland Brian Largen DAR Asst
Decatur Heritage Steve Meek Nakita Stover Decatur Heritage MS
Deshler Randall Martin Patrick Malone Brooks DC
Donoho Mark Sanders Jeremy Satcher Oxford Asst
Dothan Smitty Grider Jed Kennedy Enterprise DC
East Limestone Jeff Pugh Clint Woodfin James Clemens OC
Elkmont Michael Pendergast Chris Bunio Chelsea Asst
Elmore County Jordan Cantrell Kyle Caldwell Chelsea OC
Enterprise Rick Darlington Ben Blackmon Spanish Fort HC
Escambia County Scott Mason Vincent Harris T.R. Miller Asst
Etowah Ryan Locke Matt Glover Clay Chalkville DC
Eufaula Ed Rigby Jerrel Jernigan Eufaula Asst
Fairfield Keon Handley Shepherd Skanes Miles College Asst
Fayette County Waldon Tucker Jared Porter Fayette OC
Florala Chris Littleton Jordan Cantrell Elmore County HC
Florence Wade Waldrep Kenny Morson Fayetteville (Tn) HC
Francis Marion James Johnson Termaine Todd Russell Co Asst
Geneva Co Jim Bob Striplin Josh Thompson Geneva Co Asst
Glencoe Brian Alred Scott Martin Ohatchee HC
Gordo Ryan Lolley Gus Smith Jackson Asst
Greenville Josh McLendon Patrick Browning Pike Road HC
Hale County Luke Laird Ryan Locke Etowah HC
Haleyville Chris Musso Bo Culver Hamilton Asst
Hazel Green Joel Schrenk Charlie Wilburn Bob Jones Asst
Headland Rodney Dollar Reginald Melton Headland OC
Hoover Josh Niblett Wade Waldrop Florence HC
Houston County Chip Harris Jake Allen Slocomb Asst
Huffman Bill Smith Marlon Bush Huffman DC
Jackson Olin Tim Vakakes Jamaal Bess Fairhope Asst
J.B. Pennington Todd Cassity Caleb Miles Pennington Asst
Lee Montgomery Eric Hudson Dre'Quay Everett Lee OC
LeFlore Shon Burney Renardo Jackson Vigor DC
Marengo Eberne Myrthil Katrell Watters Marengo Asst
Mary Montgomery Stan McCain Zach Golson Daphne OC
McKenzie Drew Luker Ezell Powell Thomasville Asst
Monroe County Quincy Robinson Shannon Felder Talladega HC
Moody Adam Wallace Jake Ganus Thompson Co DC
Mortimer Jordan Stuart Floyd Dustan Goode Mortimer Jordan Asst
Murphy Rico Jackson John McKenzie Vigor HC
New Hope Trey Sullivan Tyler Johnson James Clemons Asst
Northridge Mike Vickery Ryan Lolley Gordo HC
Northside Chris Hilliker Robbie Jones Northside Asst
Oak Grove Zac Glaze Chris Musso Haleyville HC
Ohatchee Scott Martin Chris Findley Ohatchee Asst
Orange Beach Chase Smith Jamey Dubose Lowndes (Ga) HC
Park Crossing L.C. Cole Ty Lockett Grayson Ga DC
Pelham Tom Causey Mike Vickery Northridge HC
Pell City Wayne Lee Steve Mask St. Pauls HC
Pike County Fred Holland Mark Hurt Lowndes Co (Ga) DC
Pike Liberal Rush Hixson Travis Baxley Pike Road DC
Pike Road Patrick Browning Ed Rigby Eufaula HC
Pinson Valley Sam Shade Lee Guess Pinson OC
Plainview Nick Ledbetter Dale Pruitt Marion Co (Tn) HC
Pleasant Home Jeremy Silcox Cody Sellars Pleasant Home Asst
R.C. Hatch Jammie Abraham
Sardis Gene Hill Chris Stephenson Citrus (Fl) Asst
Satsuma Ray Nelson Rodney Jordan Eufaula Asst
Sheffield Harold Wisdom Brian Dickerson Prattville OC
Sidney Lanier Marvin Cunningham Derone Fagan Carver B'Ham HC
Sipsey Valley Scott Marchant Joey Milligan Sipsey Valley Asst
Slocomb Richard Tisdale Bryant Garrison Gwinnett (Ga) DC
Spain Park Shawn Rainey Tim Vakakes Jackson Olin HC
Spanish Fort Ben Blackmon Chase Smith Orange Beach HC
St. John Pauls II Joe Ross Michael Harper Lynn Asst
St. Pauls Steve Mask Ham Barnett St. Pauls DC
Susan Moore Heath Lauderdale
Talladega Shannon Felder Bill Smith Huffman HC
Talladega Co Central Chris Mahand Acardia Garrett Talladega Central Asst
Tarrant Jesse Reed Rico Jackson Murphy HC
Tharptown Kevin Lacey Jacob Hamilton Carbon Hill Asst
Thomasville Greg Cager Clint Anderson T'Ville Asst
Vestavia Sean Calhoun Robert Evans Mtn. Brook DC
Vigor John McKenzie Markus Cook Vigor Asst
W.S. Neal Brandon Wilcox Hugh Fountain Escambia Aca HC
Washington Co. Ed Brown
Waterloo Michael Williams Jeremiah Stricklin Waterloo DC
West Blocton Eric Hiott Dre'Mail King Greensboro HC
Wetumpka Tim Perry Bear Woods CFL Player
Williamson Melvin Pete, Jr Antonio Coleman Williamson DC
Woodland Blair Armstrong Joel Schrenk Hazel Green HC
Zion Chapel Randy Bryant Cody Keene Jr. Russell Co OC