Straughn football coach Ashley Kilcrease announces retirement

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

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Straughn High School head football coach Ashley Kilcrease called his team together for a meeting Monday morning and made an announcement that he was retiring from the game.

Kilcrease was a head coach for eight years and finished his career with a 72-26 record and 49-7 in region play. He led Brantley to a 48-16 record and was 30-3 from 2013 to 2017 with two region championships at his alma mater. He also led the Bulldogs baseball team for 15 years and won the state championship in 2009. Kilcrease took over at Straughn in 2021 and posted a 24-10 record, 19-4 against region competition. The Tigers captured their first region title in 14 years and their fifth 10-win season in school history under his guidance this season.

“I truly believe coaching is a calling. It is all about the relationships that are built that last a lifetime. I am forever grateful for the young men at Straughn, Brantley, and Andalusia I have had a chance to coach and be a part of their lives. Football and baseball were a big part of my coaching career. Wins matter on the field of course, but off the field is where the difference is made in coaching,” Kilcrease said.

After consulting with his family about his decision and praying about it, he elected to spend more time with his family.

“My daughter is a ninth grader at Brantley. As she moves into varsity sports, I feel it is important for me to be there with her. I just can’t with us not being at the same school. The last three years have been some of the greatest times in my coaching career. I am so thankful God gave me the opportunity to serve the Straughn community as their football coach,” he said.

In addition to being in attendance for his daughter’s games, Kilcrease will begin a career in sales with BSN Sporting Goods.

“I am looking forward and nervous about the change all at the same time.”

He reflected on his time at Straughn and recognized those who helped him throughout his tenure.

“Straughn is a special place, and I will be forever thankful for these three years and the friendships made here with all the great people here. I believe we have set a great foundation and some great days are ahead for this program. I would like to thank all the assistant coaches who helped us. We have had a tremendous staff that worked really hard the last three years, and those guys deserve a ton of credit. My family has sacrificed so much for me to coach again. I am so thankful for (SHS Principal) Matt Cobb and him giving me a chance,” Kilcrease said.

He is married to his wife, Wendy, and they are the parents of three children: Jake, 23, Luke, 21, and Marley Kate, 14.

A search for the school’s next head football coach will begin soon.