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Grider named Hazel Green head football coach

Hazel Green, AL – Park Crossing Thunderbirds head football coach Smitty Grider is leaving Montgomery to become the next head coach of the Hazel Green Trojans.  

Grider, a Montgomery native, will takeover for former Trojans head coach Will Wagnon who resigned in early March.  Wagnon’s resignation was announced after it was reported that he was a finalist for the same position at Benjamin Russell, a position that eventually went to current Russell assistant Kevin Smith.   Grider was also listed a a finalist for the post.  

Wagnon lead the Trojans program for three seasons, compiling a 13-18 record including a 7A playoff birth in his first season.  

Grider, who has a career record of 107-42, spanning 13 years as a head coach.  The Jeff Davis graduate has spent his career coaching in central Alabama, spending time as an assistant at Smith’s Station and Opelika before accepting his first head coaching position at Central Coosa in 2005.  After leading Central to a 5-5 record he accepted the top job at Beauregard, where he guided the Hornets to a record of 64-28 including seven trips to the post season and a region championship over eight years.  

In 2014 Grider returned home to become the first head coach of new Montgomery City School, Park Crossing.  He lead the Thunderbirds to a 38-9 mark over four seasons which included three consecutive playoff births and region titles.  His tenure in East Montgomery was highlighted by a trip to the 6A semi-finals in 2016.  

Grider has never closed a season with a loosing record in 13 seasons as a head coach.  

He will lead the Trojans on the gridiron for the first time August 24 at Huntsville’s Milton Frank Stadium against the Grissom Tigers.  

2018 Coaching Changes

SchoolFormer CoachNew Coach
AlexandriaFrank TuckerTodd Ginn
AnnistonEddie BullockRico White
AppalachianZach JonesRobert Beard
ArabAdam GilbertOscar Glasscock
ArdmoreAndrew SmithP.J. Wright
AshfordMich SellersChris Littleton
Benjamin RussellDanny HornKevin Smith
Bessemer CityQuintin JacksonDarone Fagan
B.B. ComerMike BattlesAdam Fossett
B.C. RainTellis StoneRick Cauley
Carver-MontgomeryWillie SpearsOpen
Center PointShawn GregoryGeorge Bates
ChelseaChris ElmoreDustin Goodwin
ChickasawJohn BeverlyJason Rowell
Central-Clay Co.Kris HerronDanny Horn
ClementsCody McCainMichael Parker
Cottage Hill ChristianDavid PeoplesChris Brazell
CornerZac WillisJohn Clements
CullmanMark BrittonMatt Plunkett
Dale Co.Pete HarrisonDon Moore
DanvilleJosh LouAllenShannon McGregory
DothanKevin JacksonWayne White
East LawrenceJarrod HelmsMatthew Pettus
ElbaEd RigbyPete Harrison
Ellwood ChristianMike StokesOpen
Elmore Co.Norman DeanJordan Cantrell
EufaulaBryan MooreEd Rigby
ExcelJason WamblesOpen
Faith AcademyJeff EstesJack French
FlorenceJ.B. WallaceWill Hester
Fort PaynePaul EllisChris Elmore
FultondaleRichie BusbyDon Dover
GardendaleMatt PlunkettChad Eads
GlencoeRusty DavisBrian Alred
HancevilleCraig FaniganCody McCain
Hazel GreenWill WagnonSmitty Grider
HelenaWatt ParkerRichie Busby
Houston AcademyJimmy AddisonJamie Riggs
JasperHeath BrunnerBryan Moore
Lakeside SchoolJimmy KingDan Klages
Mary MontgomeryChris WilsonStan McCain
MinorCurtis GravesAdrian Abrams
MoodyJay BrownAdam Wallace
New HopeKenny ChadwickBart Stephenson
OneontaBrandon HerringPhil Phillips
OpelikaCaleb RossErik Speakman
Park CrossingSmitty GriderAngelo Wheeler
Pell CityKeith EtheredgeWayne Lee
Pickens Co.Ryan SwinneyOpen
Phil CampbellRyan SwinneyKevin Barnwell
PisgahAnthony JacksLuke Pruitt
PlainviewDustin GoodwinOpen
Pleasant GroveJim ElginOpen
PrattvilleChad AndersonCaleb Ross
PricevilleDirk StrunkJason Simmons
RaglandBrian AlredDerrick Sewell
RandolphNick FlanaganBlake Killen
RobertsdaleBrian CampbellChase Smith
RogersRandall MartinOpen
RussellvilleMark HeatonMark Ritter
SamsonChris LittletonJason Wambles
SatsumaJustin ThomasRay Nelson
Shoals ChristianPatrick MaloneNick Flanagan
Smiths StationAdam FossettMike Glisson
SoutheasternMichael BurkettKevin Byrd
TannerMaurice BelserOscar Bonds
T.R. MillerAndrew ThomasKeith Etheredge
WadleyKen FordhamOpen
West LimestoneJordan CantrellShelby Davis
West MorganJohn RitterMikel Riggs
Winston Co.Bart Stephenson Mark Mitchell
WoodlawnGeorge BatesOpen
VincentWiley McKellarLucas Weatherford