FHS hires new coach

Published 12:04 am Friday, June 13, 2014

0613 spt-Brad Rhodes

New Florala head football coach Brad Rhodes (top) said the prospect of moving closer to family and helping the Wildcat community be proud of the team are what brought him to accept the job. | Josh Dewberry/The Monroe Journal

Brad Rhodes tapped to lead Wildcats football program

Citing a desire to move closer to family and help build Florala’s football program, Brad Rhodes couldn’t turn down the opportunity to be the head coach of the Wildcats.

The Covington County Board of Education approved Rhodes’ hire at its special-called board meeting Thursday morning.

“I’m looking forward to getting to Florala and being a part of the Covington County community,” Rhodes said by telephone Thursday. “I’m excited to meet the players and coaching staff and get started.”

Rhodes spent the last two seasons as head coach at Monroe County, where he went 5-15. During the five seasons prior to Rhodes’ hire at MCHS, the Tigers combined for five wins.

Eleven years before being hired at MCHS, the Troy native coached at Charles Henderson, starting out as a volunteer coach under former long-time Trojans coach Hugh Fountain. From 2006-2011, Rhodes served as the offensive coordinator at CHHS. His first year at MCHS was 2012.

When asked how he came by the open position at FHS, Rhodes said it centered around the fact that both his wife, Tracey — an Opp High School graduate — liked the location a lot.

“This was a good opportunity to get back closer to family,” he said. “The small-town atmosphere at Florala was really appealing and the opportunity to give that town something they can be proud of was also appealing.”

Rhodes, who replaces Bubba Nall, will inherit a program that’s finished the last two seasons — under two different coaches — 6-4 overall.

“When you do your research, it seems to be a program that’s had some success the last two years,” he said. “We’ve got players coming back. It’s something I’m excited to try to take to the next level.

“Our first goal is to be able to win the region championship,” he said. “That sets you up for the first round and a run in the playoffs.”

When asked what sort of offensive scheme he likes to run, Rhodes said it’s more out of the spread.

“I’m predominantly a spread coach, but I pride myself to be flexible,” he said. “You have to have flexibility with what you’re doing. We’ll evaluate what we’ll do based on the personnel we have.”

Rhodes’ coaching philosophy is all about “winning” in every aspect of the game and in the classroom.

“The idea is to win today and be that type of competitor,” he said.

Rhodes will be Florala’s fifth head football coach in the last six years, and he said he faced similar adversity when he was hired at Monroe County coming into the program there.

“It’s a trust issue and it’s something that has to be developed,” Rhodes said. “I think it’s consistency in the way we go each day.

“You’ve got to attack each day with the same type of fire and consistency and from there, that develops trust,” he said.

Brad and Tracey have a 5-year-old daughter, Georgia; and a 3-year-old son, Brady.