Former McKenzie coach takes over at Georgiana

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 26, 2007

Former McKenzie High School head football coach Shane Smothers has been named by Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney as the new Georgiana High School athletic director and head football coach, pending Board of Education approval at the May 31 special called meeting.

The Board has given Looney the authority to hire Smothers until a vote can be held at the May 31 special called meeting, meaning Smothers' tenure begins immediately.

Smothers, 32, comes to Georgiana after serving as head coach at Class 5A Walker High School from 2005-06. Smothers led the Vikings to the playoffs and a 6-5 record in '05 and a 4-6 record in '06. Prior to coaching at Walker, Smothers served as head coach at W.S. Neal High School from 2003-04 and McKenzie from 2001-02.

During his tenure at McKenzie, Smothers led the Tigers to the playoffs both years and finished the 2002 season with a 12-1 record, an appearance in the quarterfinals of the playoffs and an undefeated regular season.

Smothers graduated from Curry High School in 1992, went on to play football for the 1993 and 1994 national champions at the University of North Alabama and graduated from Athens State in 1998.

Smothers and his wife, Amy, are the parents of three children: Luke, 12, Landon, 10, and Logan, 6. The two are expecting their fourth child in October.

&#8220We're very excited about getting back to Butler County,” Smothers said. &#8220Some of our best friends are here.”

Looney said Smothers was highly recommended by Georgiana Principal Joseph Dean and his search committee of Jerry Hartin, Mike Middleton and Johnny Lee immediately following the first interview.

&#8220I'm particularly pleased that Mr. Dean and his committee were able to weed out 57 other candidates and come out with, what I consider, the cream of the crop,” Looney said. &#8220Mr. Dean has positioned his team, his school and his community very well.”

&#8220It's a good day for us and a good catch,” he added.

Dean agreed.

&#8220(Smothers) and I share the same beliefs and the same focus and that's hard to find,” Dean said.

&#8220I'm excited for him, the community and the students.”

With people like Looney and Dean in charge, Smothers said the decision to return to Butler County was simple.

&#8220The main reason I am coming back to Butler County is Mr. Dean,” Smothers said. &#8220When I left the first meeting with him, I knew they were ready to go and this was definitely the guy I wanted to work for.”

Now that Smothers is ready to begin, he has already shifted his focus to the season-opening showdown with Greenville.

When asked when the Panthers would begin preparing for the Battle of Butler County, Smothers' answer was simple.

&#8220Now,” he said. &#8220I've already started.”