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AHSFHS Article Series

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

2016 Class 2A Coaching Changes 

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Class 2A
New Hires: 10
Best Hire: Wayne McKeller, Vincent
Hardest to replace: Jackie O'Neal, Reeltown
Best Job: Reeltown
Toughest Job: Zion Chapel

Region 2


John Gilmore has spent the past 18 seasons as an assistant coach at Eufaula and will become the newest head football coach and athletic director at Cottonwood.

Gilmore is a 1989 graduate of Eufaula and has worked as an assistant at Headland (1996-97) and Carroll (1997-98) prior to returning to Eufaula.

Geneva County 

Jim Bob Striplin, a graduate of the school, takes over at Geneva County in 2016. He is a former head coach at New Brockton where his six teams went a combined 31-33 but 0-4 in the state playoffs.

He served as the offensive coordinator at Geneva the past two years.


Steven Kilcrease spent the past few years out of football but returns at Ariton as the head football coach in 2016.

He previously was the head coach at Pike Liberal Arts where his teams went a combined 42-16 in five seasons between 2007-2011. He won two state titles in 2008 and 2009 in the AISA at Pike.

Region 3

Zion Chapel 

Bubba Nall will lead Zion Chapel as the new head football coach after two seasons as an assistant coach.

This will be his third stint as a head coach having led Sweet Water in 1996-97 to a 13-9 record and Florala in 2013 to a 6-4 record.

Region 4


Head football coach Wayne McKeller left the program at Calera after five successful seasons at the helm. His last four teams finished a combined 35-11 with four playoff appearances.

McKeller grew up in Texas and played quarterback at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. He served as an offensive coordinator in Texas before moving to Alabama in 2006. He landed a position on the staff at Childersburg before moving over to Calera in 2009.

After a couple of seasons he was promoted to the head coaching position at Calera.

Francis Marion 

Grady Griffin will take over the football program in 2016. He graduated from Jackson-Olin in 2003 and received his Bachelors degree in physical education from Alabama State in 2008.

Griffin coached receivers at Jackson-Olin from 2009-2011. He served as the head football coach at Erwin Middle School between 2011-2014 and moved to Pickens County in 2015 where he worked as the offensive coordinator last season. This will be his first stint as a head varsity football coach.

Region 5


Stephen Bailey has taken over as the head coach after being an assistant coach for Young the past five seasons. Before coming to Ranburne he coached eight seasons at Woodland under Larry Strain. Bailey will be just the third football coach at Ranburne in the last 50 years.


Matt Johnson, named to replace Coach ONeal, was most recently the defensive coordinator at Upson-Lee High in Georgia. Prior to 2015, Johnson served as an assistant coach at Andalusia starting in 2010.

Johnson played under ONeal, who retired after this past season, and was part of the Rebels state championship team in 2001.

Region 6

Westbrook Christian 

Shea Monroe accepted the head coaching position at Westbrook Christian in December. He is a native of Loganville GA graduating from Grayson High School in 2007. He attended Jacksonville State from 2007-2012 and served as a student Assistant for the football team.

After graduating with a BS in Education, Monroe coached offensive line for one year at Dublin High School in Dublin, GA. From 2013-2015 he served as the Offensive Coordinator, helping the team make the playoffs 2 out 3 years and winning a Region Championship in 2014, the first since 2008.

Coach Monroe also served as the offensive coordinator at Lincoln high school between 2013 and 2015.

This will be his first head football coaching job.

Region 7

Winston County 

Bart Stephenson will become the head football coach at Winston County next season.

His three teams at Hatton finished with a combined record of 15-17. The last two squads reached the playoffs but lost in the first round each season. They were the first playoff spots for the Hornets in ten years.

Region 8

Mars Hill 

Darrell Higgins most recently served as the offensive coordinator and junior high coach at Deshler. He has been with the Deshler program for a total of 22 seasons.

Higgins graduated from Coffee in 1988 and played football at East Mississippi Community College before transferring to the University of North Alabama, where he earned a degree in business education.


Denton Bowling is the new head football coach at Hatton. He is a 2001 graduate of Lawrence County where he served as an assistant for two years before moving to Northridge for six seasons.

David Parker

Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

In 1969 the two point conversion was adopted for play following a touchdown. Until that time all conversions were worth one point.