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

2023 Football Coaching Changes

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New Hires: Ten
Best Hire: Chris Smelley, Sylacauga
Hardest to Replace: Brian Seymour, Demopolis
Best Job: Demopolis
Toughest Job: St. Clair County
Most Interesting: Chris Smelley, after serving as the quarterback coach at Hoover last season, takes over at Sylacauga. Coach Smelley built a solid program at American Christian between 2014-2020 winning sixty-five games in those seven seasons. In his final four seasons at American Christian Smelley amassed a 45-8 record, captured three consecutive region crowns (2018-20), and averaged over 35 points per game.

        A couple more interesting hires are Houston Powell at Marbury. He pulled off an amazing transformation at Meek where his team went from 1-9 to 11-1 over the past three seasons setting numerous school records last season. He will need to work the same magic at Marbury a program not accustomed to winning on a regular basis. The Bulldogs have won just a single playoff game since 1992.

        Lance Tucker returns to the state after a four year stint at Bartlett in Tennessee. Coach Tucker is following in his father's footsteps and does have a history of success at Fayette County.

        Greenville has a history of hiring good coaches but they generally do not hang around long. Bryant Vincent, Ben Blackmon, Patrick Plott, Josh McLendon and Patrick Browning were all young coaches at Greenville who left after a few seasons.
 2023 Coaching Changes 

   Of the ten new hires in 5A five have head football coaching experience. One interesting fact is that only two of the programs, Demopolis and Selma, finished the 2022 season with a winning record. Four of the schools won less than two games last year.

 Team  2022 Season  2023 Season

Citronelle (1-9)Jason BarnettJason Rowell
Crossville (0-10)Riley EdwardsNo Team
Demopolis (10-2)Brian SeymoreLance Tucker
Greenville (1-9)Patrick BrowningGarrick Pimienta
Jasper (5-6)Philip BaileyDavid Reeves
Marbury (4-7)Hayden StocktonHouston Powell
Rehobeth (4-6)Pate HarrisonToby Greene
Sardis (4-6)Chris StephensonB.J. Brooks
Selma (7-4)Willie GandyLeon Day
St. Clair County (0-10)P.J. WrightTyler Robinson
Sylacauga (0-10)Rob CarterChris Smelley

 Most Victories 
     Class 5A has the distinction of having three coaches with over 300 wins in their career. Terry Curtis surpassed Buddy Anderson last year for the most victories in Alabama. Danny Horn is very close behind with 341 wins in his coaching career and Jack French has won 306 games in two different states.

Terry Curtis UMS-Wright 348 93
Danny Horn Central Clay County 341 96
Jack French Faith Academy 306 136
Mike Battles Jr. Tallassee 194 100
Jerry Hood Leeds 135 66
George Redding Jr. Fairview 108 67
Lance Reese Guntersville 107 40
Lee Ozmint Arab 107 52
Patrick Plott Carroll 98 47
Keith Register Hayden 88 1159

 Most Playoff Victories 
     Coach Curtis also has the most playoff victories of any coach in the state with 81 but once again he has Coach Horn close on his heels with 75. Those two are tops in the state all-time.

Terry Curtis UMS-Wright 81 23
Danny Horn Central Clay County 75 23
Jerry Hood Leeds 22 10
Lance Tucker Demopolis 19 8
Mike Battles Jr. Tallassee 17 19
Darrell LeBeaux Pleasant Grove 16 5
Patrick Plott Carroll 16 10
Jack French Faith Academy 12 10
Chris Smelley Sylacauga 10 6
   * only in-state wins counted

 Longest Tenure at Current School 
   Terry Curtis has been at UMS-Wright for twenty-five seasons. It has been an impressive run for the Bulldogs under his direction to say the least. When he first moved to UMS-Wright back in 1999 the Bulldogs were 3A. Now they are competing in 5A thanks to the private school multiplier and competitive balance. Even with the move to 5A the Bulldogs are still very competitive.

   The average tenure of all the 5A coaches is 4.6 years. Of course Coach Curtis does help that average.

25 - Terry Curtis, UMS-Wright
17 - George Redding Jr., Fairview
14 - Lance Reese, Guntersville
12 - Mike Battles Jr., Tallassee
11 - Keith Register, Hayden
11 - Don Farley, West Point
8 - Rod Carson, Carver Birmingham
7 - Jeremy Sullivan, Boaz
7 - Jason Franklin, Holtville
7 - Matt Zedaker, Lincoln
6 - Todd Ginn, Alexandria
6 - Danny Horn, Central Clay County
6 - Jack French, Faith Academy
6 - Darrell LeBeaux, Pleasant Grove
6 - John Ritter, Russellville

 Coaching Turnover 2000-2023 
   The lack of success in most football programs often leads to a change in the head coach. These schools have had the most head coaching changes over the past 24 years. Greenville, with fifteen winning seasons during this time, has changed coaches ten times. It makes you wonder why. Crossville decided to drop the football program for a few years in hopes of rebuilding from the bottom up. Look for them to return in a couple of seasons.

12 Carver Birmingham  
13 Crossville  
11 Headland  
10 Greenville  
9 Ardmore  
9 Carroll  
9 Douglas  
9 Valley  
9 Citronelle  
8 Jemison  
8 Lincoln  
8 Moody  
8 Southside Gadsden  

David Parker

Great Moments in Alabama High School Football History

The Hazlewood Golden Bears have won 11 state titles. The most of any team in any classification since the playoffs began in 1966.