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All coaches must now have CDLs at ACS

The Andalusia Board of Education made an “unofficial” policy official Monday when it voted to require all athletic coaches to obtain a commercial drivers license.

Superintendent Ted Watson and board member Tommy Wright, both of whom previously have been coaches, said it was made clear to them when they were hired that they would get a CDL and drive their teams to athletic events.

“If I wanted a job, I got the license. That’s what Oscar Zeanah told me,” Wright said.

“So this is not really new,” Watson said.

The official policy states that if a coach does not obtain of maintain a CDL, the supplement for the coach of a high school sport will be reduced by 30 percent, and the supplement pay for a junior high coach will be reduced by 20 percent. The figures were calculated to offset the costs of paying someone else to drive athletic buses.

The difference in high school and junior high rate of supplement deduction is relative to the shorter seasons of junior high vs. varsity teams.

A coach may appeal the supplement reduction if a medical condition exists that would make obtaining a CDL an impossibility, according to the State of Alabama Department of Transportation.

Transportation coordinator Kim Thompson said that at present, there is only one coach who does not have a CDL.

Coaches will be given the 2017-18 academic year to comply with the new policy.