PHS in search for coaches

Published 12:03 am Thursday, June 12, 2014

0612 spt-Stephens talks

Bradley Stephens left Pleasant Home to take the head softball coaching job at Enterprise. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Pleasant Home is looking to fill three coaching positions after softball and boys basketball coach Bradley Stephens, and assistant football and baseball coach Lamar Gibson left the small school to pursue other career interests.

PHS principal Craig Nichols said he is committed to filling the vacant positions and won’t let any sports programs suffer.

Stephens was hired as the head softball coach at Class 7A Enterprise on Tuesday night at the Enterprise City Schools’ regularly scheduled board meeting. Gibson accepted a position at Tallassee High School because his wife is going into the rural medical program at Auburn University.

Nichols said the school will miss Stephens and Gibson.

“We’ll miss Bradley and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” he said.

Stephens said he was approached by his wife, Jesse’s, cousin and was told that there was an opening at EHS about two weeks ago, shortly after school let out.

“God really worked all of that out,” Stephens said. “It wasn’t necessarily an easy decision as far as leaving Pleasant Home.”

Stephens said the opportunity to coach at a Class 7A school was something he couldn’t pass up.

“Pleasant Home is really a family,” he said. “They accepted me and treated me as family. With me not even being from Andalusia, I felt like I was at home.

“It was also a decision I put forth to with a lot of prayer and seeking council from God,” he said. “Someone in my position having the opportunity to be a head coach at the 7A level doesn’t happen very often.

“My prayer was that if I get offered the job, that was where I was supposed to go,” he said.

Stephens coached at PHS for six years — three years as an assistant football coach, two years as a head baseball coach, one year as a boys basketball coach and four as the school’s softball coach.

As far as when he’ll start interviewing for the open positions, Nichols said he’s put a bunch of “feelers” out there, and that he hopes to have somebody in place in a couple of weeks.

“I’m going to look at things and decide what would be best for our programs at Pleasant Home,” he said.

New PHS football coach Chris Mason will step up in the baseball coach’s role for the Eagles’ program, Nichols said.

In addition to PHS, the Andalusia City School system recently hired Bert Rice who will work with the football team and coach other sports, superintendent Ted Watson said.

Additionally, AHS has hired Howard Battey as a specialist coach for the girls softball team and golf team; has officially hired Tyler Dent as the head baseball coach as he was an aid last season; and has a softball coach in mind to fill the vacant position left by Brad Garner, who is the school’s girls basketball coach.

Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart said he’s hoping to fill an assistant football and girls coaching position by Tuesday’s board meeting.