Aggie defensive strategy session

Will Richard, left, is Albertville’s new defensive coordinator. He also coaches safeties. During his high school career, Richard starred at quarterback for North Jackson, where he is the Chiefs’ all-time leading passer. Chad Oliver, right, will coach outside linebackers for the Aggies while continuing to serve as their freshman head coach. Oliver is a former Aggie player who also serves as varsity boys soccer coach.


Albertville head football coach Cliff Mitchell realizes he’s the exception, instead of the norm, when it comes to coaching tenures, so he wasn’t surprised when Brandon Lyles and Randy Dupree departed his staff this spring.

The men returned to their alma maters — Lyles as head coach at Douglas and Dupree as an assistant coach at Etowah.

“In coaching, there’s always going to be turnover,” Mitchell said. “Not a lot of folks stay at the same place for a really, really long time.

“Coaches leave and it hurts. I’ve had some good buddies leave. Coach [Josh] Walker went back to Boaz. Me and Josh were best friends for a long time. Coach [Eric] Varnadore went to Fort Payne.

“With Coach Lyles going back home and Coach Dupree going back home, we’re going to miss those guys. Those guys did a great job for us.

“I had a coach tell me one time — don’t ever get mad at one of your coaches for going back home or going to make more money. So those guys are going back home, and I hope they do well.”

Mitchell enters his second year as head coach and 18th overall on the Aggie staff.

“I love it at Albertville,” he said. “This is a great town to grow up in, it’s a great town to live, it’s a great school to go to and it’s a great school system to work for. I’m glad my kids are a part of it.”

Mitchell promoted safeties coach Will Richard to succeed Lyles as defensive coordinator and Chad Oliver to coach outside linebackers. Oliver will remain Albertville’s freshman head coach.

DJ Metz, a veteran assistant, and new hire Austin Harrell will assist Oliver with the freshman team.

“We’ve still got one more varsity spot to fill,” Mitchell said. “We’re going to look for a defensive coach.”

Jefforey Morgan returns as Albertville Middle School’s head coach.

Clay Mitchell is offensive coordinator and Jake Davis is defensive coordinator for the Aggies.

Zayne Ledbetter coaches the secondary and receivers, and Edgar Ramirez coaches the offensive and defensive lines. Judd Proctor has joined the Aggie Middle School staff.

“I think everything is rolling now as far as football goes,” Cliff Mitchell said. “We’re going to try and do our due diligence to make sure our kids are safe and we get to have a football season.”

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