Wilcox tapped as next Montevallo football coach

Published 5:14 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2016

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

MONTEVALLO – The Shelby County football coaching landscape received potentially its final shift when Montevallo introduced former Marion County head coach Brandon Wilcox as the new head football coach of the Bulldogs on Feb. 24.

“We are very excited to have Coach Wilcox become part of the Montevallo High School staff,” Montevallo principal Brandon Turner said in a statement. “He brings with him a record of success along with a strong emphasis on enthusiasm, character and hard work. We have every confidence that he will add to an already strong athletic program here at Montevallo.”

A native of Bruden, Wilcox went to T.R. Miller High School before going to the University of North Alabama, where he played linebacker. After his playing days were over, he was a graduate assistant for a season before moving into the high school ranks.

Wilcox comes to Montevallo from Marion County, but his past is decorated with a number of stops across the state that led to his arrival as the head coach of the 1A Red Raiders. Stops at Verbena, Carroll High School, Dale County and Enterprise all preceded his time at Marion County, and all played a role in his development as a football coach.

The Marion County job was his first as a head coach, and in his first year he took the Red Raiders to the state semifinals after going 5-5 in the regular season.

“We kind of slipped into the playoffs that year,” Wilcox said of that first team he had. “Every round in the playoffs we were supposed to get beat. Our kids kind of clicked and we got healthy at the right time. It just kind of all came together. We had an opportunity to go a little further, but fell short in the semis.”

As is the case with smaller schools, the talent level can be boom or bust, and sustainability is tough. The 2015 Marion County team was indicative of that reality and suffered from low numbers, and finished the season 2-8.

After Wilcox heard about the opening at Montevallo, the job was immediately appealing for a number of reasons. His wife works in Birmingham, and her commute from their home in Marion County is upwards of two hours each way, so the opportunity to move closer to the city was ideal off the bat. But the situation also had to be the correct one.

“To me this is the right time to be here,” Wilcox said. “Just coming down here and interviewing and seeing the community and the whole atmosphere, it just felt right. When the opportunity came, I felt like it was the right move for me.”

It is still February, and football is half a year away, but Wilcox wants to spread the field on offense and make defenses cover the whole field, which makes sense with reigning All-Shelby County first team quarterback Zac Oden and 4A ASWA first team wide receiver Ahmad Edwards returning.

Wilcox said he is ready and excited to take over a program on the brink of becoming sustainable, and is ready to give the Montevallo community a product that they can be proud of.

“What excites me is I believe that if we all buy in and we all get on the same page and all work for each other, we got an opportunity to be really good here,” Wilcox said. “Not just next year, but down the line. (I want to) build some sustained success here, which is something they haven’t had in a really long time. I’ve heard about the turnout from the community for games last year, and I want that to be the norm. I want the people in the community to know we play for them and we represent them.”