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Hoover’s Niblett Now Alabama’s Highest Paid Head Football Coach

John Davis | PrepsNet

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Hoover, AL – The Hoover City School Board approved raises this week for the system’s two head football coaches.

The pay increases resulted in Hoover High’s Josh Niblett assuming the title of Alabama’s highest paid high school football coach.  Niblett’s total compensation this year will be $125,000, up from just over $114,000 in 2014.  After leading the Bucs to their third straight state football title, Niblett tied the record for the most state championships won by a head coach in AHSAA history.  Before taking over as head coach of the powerhouse Bucs, Niblett served as an assistant at Meadowview Christian Academy, Jacksonville State University and head coach at Oneonta (51-14) and Oxford (14-18) high schools.  A Demopolis Academy graduate he was a three year letterman for Gene Stalling’s Alabama Crimson Tide.

Hoover City Schools also upped the ante for Spain Park head coach Shawn Raney.  After leading the Jaguars to a 6-4 record in 2014, 14-7 overall in two seasons at SPHS, Raney was elevated from $108,695 to $115,000.  Before being selected to lead the Jaguars program, Raney served as Niblett’s defensive coordinator at Hoover.

Alabama prep coaching salaries began to rise sharply with the hiring of Arkansas’ Josh Floyd at Hewitt-Trussville prior to the 2014 season.   The Huskies pried Floyd away from Arkansas powerhouse Shiloh Christian with a $120,000 salary.   Floyd captured three state titles at Shiloh, his mentor, current Auburn University head coach Gus Malzahn won two state championships during his four years as the head coach of the Saints.

A year later, after parting ways with former head coach Mike Montgomery, Thompson High entered the head coaching sweepstakes in a big way reeling in Spanish Fort’s Mark Freeman.  Freeman, a Birmingham area native and Bessemer Academy graduate began his coaching career at his alma mater, leading the Rebels to a 101-21 record and four state titles in ten seasons.  Freeman then took his talents to the coast, accepting head coaching positions at Gulf Shores (13-9) and Spanish Fort (50-7).  In his four seasons at Spanish Fort, he lead the Toros to two back-to-back state championships.   He has a career record of 164-37 and will be pulling down a reported $121,000 a year in Alabaster.

Freeman held the distinction of being the state’s highest paid coach for less than two months.

Auburn High was the next to raise the bar, swiping Adam Winegarden from Fairhope.   Winegarden’s teams at both Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (21-3) and Fairhope (28-8) have reached the post season in each of his five years as a head coach.  He will earn $123,000 in his first season on the sidelines in Tiger Country.

Fast forward three months and Alabama’s highest paid prep coach once again resides in the Birmingham metro.  If history is any guide, Niblett will not he relinquishing the title of the state’s top money earner any time soon.  The Bucs coach just lead his Hoover squad to the first ever 7A crown, their third title in a row and Niblett’s fourth in seven seasons at HHS.

Boasting a career record of 161-40, 96-8 at Hoover, Niblett’s Buccaneers have advanced to the state title game seven times in seven seasons, never won less that twelve games in a season and have yet to lose more than two.