Spain Park names interim coach

Spain Park High School head football coach David Shores has been placed on administrative leave following a "physical altercation" at a team practice Aug. 24. (File Photo)

By AMY JONES AND WESLEY HALLMAN / Associate Editor and Sports Editor

Updated 9:53am Thursday, August 26, 2010

Effective Thursday, current offensive line coach/assistant head coach Ben Berguson will become Spain Park High School’s interim head football coach, said Hoover City Schools spokesperson Jason Gaston.

Berguson is replacing David Shores, who has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Now in his fifth year at Spain Park, Berguson has 17 years’ worth of experience as a coach and teacher. Berguson is a graduate of Louisiana Tech University.

Berguson will make his head coaching debut Saturday in the Progressive Football Challenge against Grayson (Ga.) at North Gwinnett High School. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. The game will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast.

The team will have a closed meeting with Berguson on Thursday afternoon at the school.

Shores has been placed on administrative leave following a “physical altercation” at practice Tuesday, Aug. 24, said Gaston.

“As of right now, we did have some allegations yesterday at a football practice at Spain Park of a physical altercation between a player and Coach Shores,” said Gaston.

Spain Park officials took their preliminary findings to Superintendent Andy Craig. After discussions with Craig, Shores was placed on administrative leave as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Coach Shores will likely remain on administrative leave until the investigation is absolutely complete. We don’t have a time line. We just plan to conduct as thorough an investigation as possible,” said Gaston.

No decision has been made on Shores’ coaching future at Spain Park.

Efforts to reach Shores and Spain Park athletic director Gena Morris were unsuccessful.

Berguson begins his fifth year at Spain Park after previously coaching at Midfield High School for 10 years.

He played center at Louisiana Tech from 1988-1991 and was a member of the Bulldogs’ 1990 Independence Bowl team.

Berguson, a Rushton, La., native, attended graduate school at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Berguson and his wife, Clara, have a 3-year-old son named Luke.

Shores has compiled a 14-9 record in his first two seasons as the Jaguars’ head coach. Shores, who served as the defensive coordinator under former coach John Grass during the Jaguars’ run to the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A championship game in 2007, led Spain Park to a 10-3 record and an appearance in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs in 2009.

Shores, a 1994 graduate of Elmore County High School, attended Auburn University as an undergrad. Shores played for the Tigers in 1996 and 1997 then began his coaching career as a student assistant in 1998. He served as a graduate assistant on Tommy Tuberville’s first Auburn staff before becoming a defensive assistant to Spence McCracken at Opelika High School for the next three seasons.

Shores then had his first opportunity to work in the Hoover school system when he accepted a job as a defensive assistant to Rush Propst at Hoover High School from 2002 to 2003, with the Bucs winning state titles both years. The 2004 season took Shores to LSU to serve as a defensive assistant to coaches Nick Saban and Will Muschamp. Upon returning to the Birmingham metro area in 2005, Shores served as the defensive coordinator at Pelham before taking over as the Spain Park defensive coordinator.

The Jaguars fell to Auburn 30-3 in an exhibition contest Aug. 21 in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Champions Challenge at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.