Kingwood looking forward to changes within athletic department

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

ALABASTER — After a bit of shuffling around, the Kingwood Christian Lions’ athletic department feels it has the pieces they need to field competitive programs across the board in the upcoming school year.

Birminngham

Birminngham

The Lions announced June 16 that Steve Birmingham stepped down from the athletic director position to focus solely on being the Lions’ head football coach, and Eddie Toles will fill the AD role.

“I want to build off Coach Birmingham’s vision,” he said. “I want to take it to the next level.”

Birmingham said he chose to step down in order to be able to give football his main focus. The Lions are coming off a 2013 season that saw a record mark for wins, with nine.

“We had the best season we ever had (last season),” Birmingham said. “It’s very important to stay focused to keep our teams competitive.’
Birmingham said he felt he could best serve the program by assisting Toles.

“I feel I can help him better as an assistant,” he said. “I know the rest of athletics is in great hands. Toles is passionate, loves the kids and loves the school.”

Toles said his first move was to ensure the school’s feeder programs were competitive.

“We making a conscious effort to train the JV program with the varsity,” he said. We work them out together, have the varsity serve as mentors.”

Toles also said he planned to put an effort on academics as well as athletics, and making sure coaches served as mentors.

“Kids have to be able to trust (a) coach,” he said. “(Coaches) have to respect players. One of the biggest things is the sport has to be fun.”

In addition to the shift at athletic director, boys head basketball coach Danny Davis will take over duties of coaching the girls team from Andrew Pearce, who opted to focus solely on baseball.

“It (was) kind of difficult,” said Kingwood Church Community Pastor Benny Cunningham said of Pearce trying balance coaching the girls team in the postseason while trying to coach the baseball team at the same time.

“We think this is a real positive move,” Cunningham said. “It’ll allow coaches to focus on the sport.”