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Oak Mountain’s Cris Bell named Scottsboro head football coach

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Scottsboro, AL – After nine seasons at the helm of the Oak Mountain Eagles football program Cris Bell is leaving for Scottsboro.  Bell was officially approved as the Wildcats 39th head coach Thursday afternoon.  

Bell replaces former Scottsboro head coach Don Jacobs who retired after leading the 6A program to a 20-22 record, including a 2-8 mark in 2020, in four seasons.  

“We love Oak Mountain, it’s been home for nine years.  It’s a fantastic community and they absolutely embraced us and took a chance on an out-of-state guy back in 2008. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity they gave me.”  Bell told the Shelby County Reporter’s Alec Etheredge.  “The more we prayed on it and sought council, those boxes kept getting checked,” Bell said. “It felt like a good fit. There is tremendous support up here. The safe thing would have been to stay at Oak Mountain, but we challenge our kids to get out of our comfort zone, and that’s how I processed things here. I am really, really excited for the opportunity.”

The Richmond, Virginia native leaves Shelby County as the winningest and longest tenured head football coach in Oak Mountain’s 22 year history.  He lead the Eagles to a combined 47-49 record including four postseason appearances and a pair of trips to the second round of the AHSAA playoffs.  During his nine seasons on the Herdmont sidelines the Eagles posted a 27-36 mark in region play while competing in arguably one of the toughest regions in the nation.  

Mark Bell during Oak Mtn.’s 35-28 win over Vestavia Hills in 2020. Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Prior to taking the reins of the Eagles program in 2012, Bell served as the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at Metro Atlanta’s Marietta High School.  He also spent time as the head coach at at Strong Rock Christian School (GA), defensive coordinator at his alma mater Hampden-Sydney College, running backs coach at Carson-Newman College, head coach at James River High School (VA) and stints as an assistant at Greenville College, Mills Goodwin High School (VA), Appomattox County High School (VA) and Patrick County High School (VA).  

He was named the Alabama 7A Coach of the Year in 2014 after leading Oak Mountain to a 10-2 record.  In 2008 he was named Georgia Independent School Association IAA Coach of the Year.