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AHSFHS Article Series

   The best of the best in Alabama High   
  School Football over the past 100 seasons.

Coaching Changes 

Class 2A
New Hires: 12
Best Hire:
Swane Morris, Gaston
Hardest to replace:
Scott Rials, Elba
Best Job:
Toughest Job:
Phil Campbell, last winning season was 2001.

Region 1
Leroy - 
Jason Massey, 40, takes over for Jason Bates as the head coach of the Bears. He leaves Clarke County after two seasons with a 10-11 record. Massey is a 1992 graduate of Leroy and spent five seasons there as an assistant (2006-10). Bates went 1-9 at a school that had won five State Championships the past ten seasons.

Region 3
Elba - 
Ed Rigby has 22 years of coaching experience including six as a head coach at Tate High School in Florida. He served last season as an assistant at Goshen. He has also been the head coach at Albany, GA, (1993-94), and Loranger High School in Louisiana (1996-09) . Rigby has experience at the college level. He is the husband of Tory women's basketball coach Chanda Rigby. He replaces Scott Rials who moves over to Satsuma High School. Coach Rials went 115-58 at Elba (2004-12) and a State Championship.

Luverne - 
Mike Dubose returns to the high school ranks at Luverne. He led the Tigers to the Class 2A State Championship during his previous tenure at the school (2003-04). He was the head coach at Alabama from 1997-2000 and has made stops at Northview High School and Millsaps. He worked at Memphis State the last two years. Dubose replaces Les Sanders who finished with a 40-20 record over the past five seasons at Luverne.

Zion Chapel - 
Bradley Bowers takes over the football program at Zion Chapel. He served as the defensive coordinator for the Rebels the past four seasons. Bowers is a 2000 graduate of Elba High School where he played quarterback. He got his start in coaching at Elba for one year before moving to Crenshaw Christian from 2004-07. He moved to Highland Home in 2008 before landing at Zion Chapel. Bowers replaces Mike Waters who resigned to accept an assist coaching position at Pike County High School.

Region 5
LaFayette -
Dialleo Burks takes his first head coaching job at the high school level. He last served as an assistant coach at LaGrange High School in Georgia. Burks graduated from LaGrange in 1992 where, as a senior, his team won a State Championship. He played college football at Eastern Kentucky (1992-95) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1996-97). He began his coaching career in 2007 and has been an assistant at several school since that time. Burks replaces Steve Coker whose teams went 13-18 the last three years at LaFayette.

Randolph County -
Pat Prestridge served as the defensive coordinator the last two seasons at Randolph County. He was the head football coach at in Wedowee from 2001-2007 with a 53-29 record. The Tigers won a State Championship under his direction in 2003. He also worked as an assistant at Walker High School in Jasper before returning to Randolph County. Randy Sparks compiled a 16-14 record in three years with the Tigers.

Region 6
Fultondale -
Richie Busby moves up from the offensive coordinator's position to head football coach. He has been with the Wildcats for the past 13 seasons. He served as the head mens' basketball for the past four years. This is his first football head coaching job. Busby replaces Keith Register, who resigned to take over the program at Hayden High School.  

Vincent -
Jason Hill, 41, was at Phil Campbell last year and finished with a 2-8 record in his only stint as a head football coach. He spent six seasons as an assistant football coach at Chelsea prior to leading Phil Campbell. Hill got his degree in biology from UAB and planned to go to medical school but changed his mind and went in the coaching direction. Hill replaces Zeb Ellison who resigned to become the defensive coordinator at Class 6A Chelsea.

Region 7
Gaston -
Swane Morris returns as the head coach at Gaston after serving from 2001-09 in the same capacity. His 2008 team reached the semi-finals of the playoffs. Morris' teams finished a combined 70-32 during his last stay at Gaston. Coach Morris spent the last three seasons at Scottsboro with a 5-25 record. He replaces Josh Averett who resigned in January after  his team went 11-20 in three seasons including 0-10 in 2012.

Region 8
Cherokee -
The new coach is unknown at this time. Jon Thompson resigned to accept an assistant coaching position at Muscle Shoals High School. His teams went 5-15 in two seasons.

Hatton -
Bart Stephenson spent five years as an assistant at Decatur and coached the girl's softball team last year. He is a 1984 graduate of Mount Hope High School. Michael Hathorn went 3-7 in his only season as the head coach at Hatton. He resigned to accept an assistant coach position at Pell City.
Phil Campbell -
Ryan Sweeney, 46, becomes the third football coach for the Bobcats in three seasons. He is a 1985 graduate of Phil Campbell and earned his degree form North Alabama. He spent two years at Belgreen and 17 at East Franklin Junior High School.     Jason Hill jumped over to Vincent after a 2-8 record last year at the helm of the Bobcats.

Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

Ken Stabler, Bart Starr, Ozzie Newsome, John Stallworth, John Hannah and Buck Buchanan are all members of the NFL Hall of Fame and played high school football in Alabama.