Litton to be new Jaguar golf coach

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

The Spain Park boys golf program will have a new leader in the 2017 season. Brian Carter, who helped lead Spain Park to three straight 6A titles from 2012-2014 and a 7A title this past season, has left the program and will be replaced by now-former Homewood head golf coach Keat Litton.

Carter, who taught drivers education at Spain Park, has accepted a job with the drivers education division of the Alabama State Department of Education, and will not return to lead the juggernaut Jaguar golf program.

“We had interest in the job,” Spain Park athletic director Patrick Kellogg said of the golf coaching vacancy. “It’s tough to replace a quality coach and a quality person like Brian Carter with that golf acumen. But Keat Litton was at the top of the list. He’s a great coach and a great person and he comes from a championship program. It was a no-brainer.”

Litton comes from a Homewood program that has had success in recent years, and won the 6A golf title this season, a title the Patriots won after coming back from down eight strokes after the first day to beat Spanish Fort by a razor-thin two-stroke margin.

“Anytime we hire somebody, we want to make it a seamless transition,” Kellogg said. “We have that with Coach Litton.”

Litton, who is a Homewood native and graduated from Homewood High School, recently finished his fifth year as the Homewood golf coach. During his time with the Patriots he led the program to three state tournament appearances, including a 5A runner-up finish in 2014 and a 6A title in 2016.

Litton said Spain Park is one of potentially three schools he would have left Homewood for, and the prospect of changing his day-to-day duties coupled with the strong athletic program at Spain Park led him to make the change.

“To go somewhere that has the history golf-wise that Spain Park does, dating back to the start of the school, was appealing,” Litton said. “But really how important golf is in the community. There are a lot of country clubs in the community of Hoover that Spain Park kids grow up competing in. It’s important for them and they’re going to work hard and want to be successful. And (head football coach) Sean Raney is respected across the state, they have a great football program as well.”

Litton will take over Carter’s role as a driver’s education teacher, assistant football coach (Litton will coach tight ends at Spain Park), and head golf coach.

Spain Park will return Nick Robillard, Landon Carner and Reed Hereford from the 2016 team that won the 7A title by 14 strokes.