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AHSFHS Article Series

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

2016 Class 1A Coaching Changes 

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Class 1A
New Hires: 12
Best Hire: Tate Leonard, Isabella
Hardest to replace: Billy Gardner, Millry
Best Job: Marion County
Toughest Job: Fruitdale

Region 1


Ryan Little takes over the football program at Fruitdale in 2016 after serving as the defensive coordinator at Murphy last season. Little played football at Satsuma and graduated from South Alabama.

He also coached at Mary Montgomery and Citronelle.


Greg Crager takes over the reins of the Millry football program for the 2016 season. He is a 1999 graduate of the school. He received his degree from Auburn University in 2003.

Crager coached at Leroy for two years as an assistant before working at Robertsdale from 2006-2011. In 2011 he moved over to Spanish Fort where he taught history and coached linebackers. This will be his first head coaching job.

Region 2


Jonny Mitchell was promoted in June to the head football coaching position at Kinston. Mitchell served as the offensive coordinator last season at Kinston.

Region 3


Tate Leonard, a 2000 graduate of Isabella, will take over the football program at the school in the fall of 2016. Leonard has been a member of the Maplesville staff since 2006 where he worked on the defensive side of the ball. This will be his first head coaching position.


Leon Walker takes over the head coaching duties at Autaugaville this season. This will be his first head coaching job.

Ellwood Christian 

Mike Stokes returns to lead Ellwood Christian in 2016 as the head football coach. He was the coach between 2011-2013 with a 7-25 record.

Region 4


Brian Alred takes over the football program at Ragland for the 2016 season. He served as the defensive coordinator under head coach Jonathan Nix.

Region 5

Marion County 

Kyle Williams will lead the Marion County football program into the 2016 season. Coach Williams is a graduate of Marion County and the University of Alabama. He was the offensive coordinator at Demopolis through the 2013 football season and was away from the game the past two years.

South Lamar 

Clay Gilliam will take over the football program at South Lamar in 2016. He was an assistant at Northside, then was an assistant at South Lamar last year. This will be his first head coaching job.

He is also the first head coach in South Lamar history to be a graduate of the school.

Region 6

Coosa Christian 

Navendra Woods will be the sixth new head football coach at Coosa Christian over the past seven seasons.

Valley Head 

Brian Knapp takes over the football program at Valley Head after spending the past eight seasons as the head coach at Douglas. His teams went 27-53 without ever reaching the playoffs at Douglas.

Region 8


Kevin Lacey will lead the Tharptown football program into the 2016 season. He is a 2006 graduate of Phil Campbell and Athens State College. He has been at Tharptown for the past three years.

Shoals Christian 

Patrick Malone takes over the football program at Shoals Christian for the fall of 2016. He is a graduate of Deshler where he played football. He has served as an assistant coach at Florence. Last season he was the strength and conditioning coach along with coaching the safeties at Florence.

David Parker

Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden was a star quarterback at Woodlawn high school in Birmingham.