Top 10 Alabama High School Football Coaching Hires of 2018

Birmingham, AL – Following the 2017 season 98 Alabama high school football programs made head coaching changes.  PrepsNet breaks down the top 10 hires heading into the fall of 2018.  

10.  Richie Busby | Helena Huskies

Career Record  40-17 | Region Titles  2

After leading the Fultondale Wildcats to a 40-17 record including a pair of region titles and a five consecutive trips to the AHSAA postseason, Busby accepted the top job at 6A Helena.  He becomes the second head coach in program history.  The Huskies kickoff 2018, August 24th, on the road at McAdory.  

9.  George Bates | Center Point Eagles

Career Record 39-30 | Region Titles  1

George Bates will be leading his third Birmingham area football team in three years when his Center Point Eagles take the field August 30th. Bates began his career at Parker in 2012, after leading the Thundering Herd to a 12-10 record over two seasons he moved nine miles west to take over a struggling Minor High School program. During his three seasons at Minor he turned around the Tenacious Tigers program, posting a 26-11 record including a region title and back-to-back trips to the third round of the AHSAA playoffs. The Birmingham native’s next stop was a one year stint at Birmingham’s Woodlawn High. He lead the Colonels to a 1-9 mark in 2017 before taking over at Center Point.  The Eagles kickoff 2018 on the road at 7A Mountain Brook August 30th. 

8.  Bryan Moore | Jasper Vikings

Career Record 26-9 

Brian Moore takes over a Jasper Vikings program who is coming off back-to-back loosing seasons for the first time since 1993-1994.  The Valley native spent eight seasons as an assistant at Opelika, including four as the Bulldogs offensive coordinator before being named the head coach at Eufaula in 2015.  He lead the Tigers to a 26-9 record including three trips to the 5A postseason and a 15-3 mark in region play.   He will lead the Vikings on the gridiron for the first time Thursday, August 23rd at Cullman’s Woodard Stadium.  

7.  Jack French | Faith Academy Rams

Career Record 259-120-2 | State Titles 3 (Mississippi)

When veteran head coach Jack French leads the Faith Rams on the field August 24th he will be the program’s third leader on the gridiron in as many years.  French brings 35 years of experience as a head coach to the Mobile program who hasn’t posted a winning record since joining the AHSAA in 2008.  During his career, the Noxapater, MS native, has served as the head coach at Baker, Clarke County and Baldwin County high schools in Alabama and Mississippi’s DeSoto County Academy, Hillcrest Academy, Starkville Academy, Pelahatchie, Itawamba, Forest, Pearl high schools.  He is a member of both the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame and the Baldwin County High School Athletic Hall of Fame.  The Rams kick off their 2018 campaign against Mississippi’s Bouge Chitto High School at Rams Field August 24th.  

6.  Smitty Grider | Hazel Green Trojans

Career Record 107-42 | Region Titles 4

After spending all of his 14 year head coaching career in central Alabama, Smitty Grider has accepted his first position in the Tennessee Valley.  The Montgomery native accepted his first head coaching gig at Central Coosa in 2005, after leading the Cougars to a 5-5 mark in one season he moved to Beauregard where he posted a 64-28 record including a region title.  In 2014 Grider returned to the Capital City to kickoff the football program at new Montgomery City School, Park Crossing.  He lead the upstart Thunderbirds to a 38-9 mark over four years including three trips to the postseason and three consecutive region titles.   After an undefeated regular season, Grider’s PCHS squad reached the 6A semifinals in 2016.  He will lead the Trojans on the field for the first time August 24th on the road at Grissom.  

5.  Danny Horn | Central-Clay County Volunteers

Career Record 287-83 | Region Titles 14 | State Titles 6

Danny Horn returns to his old stomping grounds in 2018 after spending nine seasons at the helm of the Benjamin Russell Wildcats.  Horn coached his alma mater, the former Clay County High School, to a 225-40, record 12 region championships and six state titles over 20 years.  Horn stepped up from 2A Clay County to 6A Benjamin Russell in 2009.  He spent nine seasons in Alexander City, leading the Wildcats to a 62-43 mark and a pair of region titles.   In 2012 Clay County High combined with arch rival Lineville to form Central – Clay County.  Over his 30 seasons as a head coach 27 of Horn’s teams have advanced to the AHSAA postseason.  Central kicksoff 2018 against Horn’s former team, the Benjamin Russell Wildcats, August 31st at Volunteer Stadium.  

4.  Ed Rigby | Eufaula Tigers

Career Record 118-79 | Region Titles 3 | State Titles 1

After leading the 2A Elba Tigers to a 53-12 record (31-2 in region play), three region titles, a pair of trips to the AHSAA Super 7 and a state championship, Ed Rigby stepped up to the 6A Eufaula Tigers following the 2017 season.  During his career Rigby has spent time as an assistant and head football coach in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas and Alabama.   The Tigers will host Early County Georgia August 24 to kickoff the 2018 season.  

3.  Caleb Ross | Prattville Lions

Career Record 40-21 | Region Titles 2 | State Titles 1

After spending one season at the helm of the Opelika Bulldogs football program Caleb Ross has returned home to resurrect his alma mater’s glory days.  Ross takes over a Lions program who is coming off a pair of loosing seasons and four straight campaigns that ended without a playoff birth.   Before leading Opelika to a 9-3 mark in 2017 he put powerhouse McGill-Toolen Catholic on the map, improving the Yellow Jackets from 4-6 in his first season to back-to-back 14-1 marks including the program’s first state championship in 2015.  Ross began his head coaching career with a one year stint at Thompson in 2011, leading the Warriors to 2-8 record.  Prattville’s 2018 campaign begins August 24th as the Lions welcome Foley to Stanley-Jenson Stadium.  

2.  Keith Etheredge | T.R. Miller Tigers

Career Record 119-44 | Region Titles 6 | State Titles 4

Keith Etheredge kicks off his career as the head football coach at Brewton’s T.R. Miller High School August 31st as the Tigers welcome Choctaw County to Municipal Stadium.  Etheredge spent the last two seasons leading the Pell City Panthers program to a pair of 6-5 finishes.  Before taking over at 6A Pell City, the Leeds native built his alma mater into a football powerhouse.  During his 10 seasons at Leeds High he lead the Green Wave program to a 107-34 record including six region titles, four state championships and a pair of 15-0 seasons.  Over his 13 seasons as a head coach, none of his teams have failed to advance to the post season.  

1.   Jamie Riggs | Houston Academy Raiders

Career Record 305-81 | Region Titles 14 | State Titles 4

After retiring following 31 years on the sidelines, the third winningest head coach in Alabama high school football history is back in the game.  Jamie Riggs is taking over the top job at Dothan’s Houston Academy after stepped down as the head coach of his alma mater, T.R. Miller High School, following the 2015 season.  Over 27 years at T.R. Miller, Riggs lead the Tigers to a 393-62 mark including 14 region titles, 4 state championships and 27 straight playoff births.  He spent the first three years of his head coaching career at Opp, leading the Bobcats to a 12-19 record.  The Raiders kickoff 2018 against the McKenzie Tigers August 31st at Westgate Park.  

Click here to view the full list of 2018 Alabama high school football coaching changes 


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