Oxford’s Heath Harmon Named AHSAA Executive Director

Montgomery, AL – Oxford High School principal Heath Harmon was approved on Thursday by the AHSAA Central Board of Control to become the sixth Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA). The announcement was made by current AHSAA Central Board president Mike Welsh during a press conference held at the AHSAA office in Montgomery.

Harmon, 49, will officially assume his role as Executive Director of the 104 year old association in early July. Alvin Briggs, who has led the AHSAA since 2021, announced his retirement plans earlier this spring

“Mr. Heath Harmon is currently the principal at Oxford High School. He is a lifelong resident of Alabama and has previously served as a high school English and History teacher, assistant principal, and coach of multiple sports,” said Central Board President Mike Welsh. “Mr. Harmon was head football coach at four of our member schools prior to entering the field of educational administration. He has proven to be an effective leader, and we are confident of his ability, excited about his enthusiasm, and look forward to working with him to lead our association into the future.”

A graduate of Munford High School in Talladega County, Harmon becomes only the sixth full-time Executive Director in AHSAA history. Cliff Harper was the first, serving from 1948 to 1966. Herman L. “Bubba” Scott followed from 1966 to 1991, succeeded by Dan Washburn from 1991 to 2007. Steve Savarese then served until his retirement in 2021. Alvin Briggs, who announced his plans to retire effective September 1, has held the position since 2021. Sellers Stough of Birmingham served in a part-time capacity as executive secretary-treasurer from 1921 to 1948.

Sharing his gratitude, Harmon said, “I am truly blessed to be standing here. Without the support of my wife Holley and my two children, I wouldn’t be able to do the work that I do.”  “I have had the opportunity to work with the AHSAA as a coach and administrator. It is one of the best organizations in the country.”  “The AHSAA’s longstanding tradition of serving member schools and supporting education-based athletics is recognized locally as well as nationally. We are proud of our past and preparing for our future.”

Harmon expressed his eagerness to work with the Central Board of Control, the AHSAA staff, and member school principals, athletic directors, coaches, and officials across the state to ensure a great experience for student-athletes in Alabama. He also extended his gratitude to the previous executive directors present at the announcement. “I especially appreciate their support as we transition to this new challenge in our lives.”

All five previous executive directors had a significant national impact, with Scott and Washburn serving as presidents of the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors. Harper (1987), Scott (1990), and Washburn (2011) have been inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame. Savarese will be eligible for selection beginning this fall.  Susan Scott Carothers, granddaughter of Mr. Bubba Scott and host of AHSAA TV Weekly, was also in attendance.

Heath Harmon with former AHSAA Executive Directors (L-R) Dan Washburn, Alvin Briggs, Harmon & Steve Savarese. (AHSAA Photo)

Harmon, known for his strong character and faith, has been an educator for 27 years, serving in various roles, including teacher, coach, athletic director, instructional partner, and principal at Oxford High School. Those who know him best describe Harmon and his wife Holley, a fellow educator and school administrator, as believers in Faith, Family, and Community. Harmon holds a B.S. in Secondary Education, English and History from Jacksonville State University, an M.A. in Secondary Education, English and Educational Leadership from the University of Alabama, and an Educational Specialist degree from the University of Alabama. He is also a graduate of the 2023 Alabama Superintendents Leadership Academy.

Harmon is a staunch believer in the values learned from education-based athletics. In May of 2023, he opened his school’s doors to the Athens High School softball team which was competing in the AHSAA State softball championships at nearby Choccolocco Park on the night of their seniors’ graduation. The seniors received their diplomas that night in a ceremony held at Oxford High School Sports Arena with the AHSAA’s Alvin Briggs on hand with Athens High School Athletic Director Linda Moore to present the diplomas to the graduating seniors  

Harmon and his wife have two children, Halaya and Hudson, both Oxford High School graduates. Their daughter graduated from Auburn University in 2023, and their son is currently a student on The Plains.

Welsh praised the Central Board’s efforts in identifying the AHSAA’s next leader, particularly acknowledging senior board member Luke Hallmark for chairing the search committee and developing the search process.

Cover Photo: Incoming AHSAA Executive Director Heath Harmon addresses the media Thursday afternoon in Montgomery.  (AHSAA Photo)

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