GUNTERSVILLE — Lance Reese enters his 11th season as Guntersville’s head football coach with a trusted staff that’s experienced limited turnover during his tenure.
Chris Canady returns as offensive coordinator, the Wildcats’ only one in the Reese era. Ryan Thomas serves as Guntersville’s defensive coordinator, and it’s his 10th year in the program.
“When you have coordinators that have been longtime assistants, that’s definitely a benefit to us,” Reese, who owns a 79-34 record, said.
Shannon Cahill, Bubba Roberts, Bruce Crawley, Dustin Schofield and Brad Lett complete Reese’s full-time staff. Cahill starred at receiver for Guntersville’s 2006 state championship team, and Lett returns to the staff after a one-year hiatus.
Roberts and his wife, Kasey, celebrated the birth of a son June 12. They also have two daughters.
Former Guntersville quarterback Jake Wisener is serving as a volunteer coach.
He spent two years on the Jacksonville State football team, but Reese said he’s transferring to Athens State to complete his bachelor’s degree.
Reese was a volunteer coach at Cullman, his alma mater, during his four years in college.
“That’s what I did when I was in school, and it benefitted me,” Reese said. “[Former Wildcat] Andy Petty did the same thing for us, and now he’s gotten hired at Arab. I give that a lot of credit for me being ready to get hired here at Guntersville.
“So, anytime we can help out the former players and keep them involved in the program, I’m all for it.”
Overall, Reese begins his 30th season at Guntersville. He joined the program as an assistant coach in 1991.
As head coach, Reese has guided nine of his 10 teams to the state playoffs, including seven consecutive berths. Last year, the Wildcats whipped host Hamilton 32-9 for their first road victory in an opening-round game in their playoff history.