LHS hires Waggoner as football coach

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Brad Waggoner, a native of Fayetteville, Ga. and former assistant at West Alabama University, has been hired to replace Mike DuBose as Luverne's high school football coach.

Waggoner said, for him, coaching at Luverne is a 'dream' job.

"When you first go into coaching you always envision coaching at a place like Luverne," said Waggoner. "I feel lucky to have been chosen. I feel confident and I know we want to keep building on the tradition here at Luverne."

LHS Principal Earl Franks said Waggoner's experience and passion for coaching stood out during the interview process, a process that included Dubose, who leaves Luverne to take the defensive coordinator's position at Millsaps College in Mississippi, as well as assistant principal Doug Brown.

"Doug and I went over his teaching qualifications and then he met with Coach Dubose to go over more of the X's and O's of coaching football," said Franks. "Brad cares about kids. He's certified in special education, which tells me he really wants to do right for kids. He has a great personality and he said during the interview that no one was going to outwork him. He's a hard worker."

Franks said calls to Waggoner's previous employers confirmed that. The 30-year-old Waggoner was a graduate assistant under Dubose at Alabama before moving on to West Alabama to coach linebackers and special teams.

"Coach Dubose couldn't have been higher on Brad and his family," said Franks.

After coaching stints in Georgia at Sandy Creek and Fayette County High schools, Waggoner was named head coach at Crescent City in Florida in 2004. His team went 4-6, but won the district championship after a 1-9 season the year before.

In January of 2005, he moved to Grant, Ala., to be closer to his wife, Ashley, in Birmingham. Waggoner was the first head football coach of DAR High School, starting the program from the ground up.

"I had four calls from administrators telling me about how tough the situation had been at DAR and the work Brad had put in," said Franks. "They said, 'you know, we don't want to lose this guy, but we want to support him in what he wants to do.'"

Franks also said that it was important to have former coaches Glen Daniel and Butch Norman included in the process. The four men had lunch last week prior to Waggoner's hiring.

"Brad spent about two hours with Coach Daniel and Coach Norman, just talking and getting to know one another," said Franks. "I told Brad that this was what makes this place special. We still have these two men here who were coaches and are still part of the program. And Coach Daniel summed it up the best when he told Brad, 'we're all on the same page.'"

Waggoner brings a defensive background to Luverne and said the packages he runs on defense are very similar to what Dubose did.

"I think a lot of it I learned from him while I was at Alabama," said Waggoner, who also has brother, Clint, who played under Dubose. "I know we lost a lot of starters on defense, but at the same time we need to count on the players who have come up through the junior varsity ranks to step up."

Waggoner said he's a 'big believer' in the weight room and off-season conditioning.

"That's where the foundation of a good program starts," he said.

Waggoner met with his players on Sunday, as well as parents and Luverne supporters. Upon his approval by the Crenshaw County Board of Education last Thursday, Waggoner said he was made aware of the rivalries that exist among Luverne, Highland Home and Brantley high schools.

"The board member from Brantley said he didn't think I'd beat Brantley. Then the board member from Highland Home said he didn't think I'd beat Highland Home either," Waggoner joked.