A couple of Montgomery-area teams and a team in the Gulf have hired new coaches from other Alabama programs this week.
First, Class 6A Gulf Shores went into Mobile and plucked out 7A Murphy’s Rick Cauley. Cauley has been at Murphy for the past 19 years with three of them as a head coach. He compiled a 20-13 record with the Panthers and perhaps underachieved by not winning a region title or making it out the first round with teams featuring lineman Neil Farrell and linebacker Kendric Haynes.
This last season, the Panthers finished 6-5 and barely made the postseason as Region 1’s fourth seed. The Dolphins were 1-19 with Jamie Williams, finishing 0-10 in 2016. They’ve made the playoffs just three times in their 17 seasons.
Class 6A Stanhope Elmore will try to move on from the short-lived Mike Dean era as they’ve brought in Brian Bradford from Chilton County. The Tigers went 9-21 under Bradford in three seasons with no playoff appearances in two different regions featuring Opelika, Benjamin Russell, Chelsea, Oxford, Pell City, and Wetumpka. The Mustangs last made the playoffs in 2014 under Jeff Foshee with a 5-6 record. Their last region title came in 2004.
Finally, 4A’s Holtville, 1-29 in the last three seasons have replaced Hunter Adams with Jason Franklin from Horseshoe Bend. The Bulldogs ended a 29-game losing streak at the end of the 2016 season with a 41-39 win over Beulah. They share Region 3 with state champion Handley, 2015 and ’14 state champion Leeds, Tallassee, Munford, and Dadeville. Their last playoff appearance was in 2010.
At Horseshoe Bend, Bradford recorded a 34-59 record and three Class 2A playoff appearances in nine seasons after a nine-year playoff drought. Franklin’s 2016 Generals went 6-5 with a first-round exit to state champion Fyffe.