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Montgomery Catholic’s Aubrey Blackwell takes over at Benjamin Russell, Kirk Johnson named Knights head coach

Dennis Victory

Montgomery, AL – The Montgomery Catholic Knights will have new leadership when the 3A state runner-ups return to the gridiron in 2021.  Aubrey Blackwell is exiling the Catholic program to become the 16th head coach of the Benjamin Russell Wildcats program.  

The Knight’s didn’t look far to find their next head coach.  Current Catholic defensive coordinator Kirk Johnson has been elevated to lead the surging 3A program.

“I am extremely honored and blessed to accept the position as head football coach at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School,” Johnson said in a release. “I would like to thank Daniel Veres, Justin Castanza and Eileen Aaron for this amazing opportunity. I would also like to thank Aubrey Blackwell for his mentorship and the foundation that he helped lay here at Montgomery Catholic. “It’s not often that you get the opportunity in your first head coaching job to take over a state championship caliber football team. I look forward to the opportunity to expand on what has been built and to continue to lead this program to the next level.”

Blackwell has lead the Montgomery Catholic program to a 54-19 record including a trip to the AHSAA Super 7 in 2020, three region titles, five playoff births and a 29-9 mark in region play over six seasons in the Capital City. Three of Blackwell’s Knights squads finished the season with 10 wins or more. 

The Knights, who are coming off a 12-3 campaign in 2020, were edged by north Alabama powerhouse Fyffe 21-16 in the 3A state title game in December.  

Blackwell takes over the 6A Benjamin Russell program from Kevin Smith who posted a 13-17 record during his three year stint in Alexander City.  Smith stepped down after leading the Wildcats to a 2-7 record in 2020.