Calera hires former Baldwin County coach Scott Rials as new football coach, athletic director

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

CALERA – Calera High School officially announced Scott Rials as the Eagles’ new head coach after he was confirmed by the Shelby County Board of Education on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

“We are very excited to hire a coach that’s the caliber of coach Rials, very excited for what he brings to the table and what he’ll be able to do with our players, our school and our community and looking forward to getting him up here and getting started,” said Calera High School principal and current athletic director Christopher Myles.

Rials moves to Calera from Baldwin County, where he went 14-27 in four seasons in Class 6A, Region 1. He reached the second round of the playoffs in 2021 after going 8-4 on the season.

Prior to his time at Baldwin County, he most notably coached at Elba in Class 2A. He took over the program in 2004 and transformed it into the powerhouse it is today, winning three straight region titles from 2009-2011 thanks to an in-region win streak of 27 straight victories.

Rials led Elba to an undefeated 15-0 season in 2012 and beat Tanner in the Class 2A title game to claim his first state championship.

From there, he coached two seasons at Satsuma, going 9-11 in the process, and for five years at Luverne, where he went 47-15 and went to the state championship game in 2018, before taking the job at Baldwin County.

Myles said that Rials’ successful track record at multiple schools and most importantly, his character, were the key reasons why he was hired.

“We wanted to look for someone who ultimately is a good person, first and foremost,” Myles said. “A high-character person who was very relatable, both in the classroom and on the football field, and someone who was going to come in and be a team player and find ways to bring excitement back to our program, our school and our community.”

Calera has been without a permanent head coach since Jason Hamlin resigned on July 25 to take an assistant coach position at Hoover. Jerad Holder was named the interim coach for the Eagles shortly after, and he was not retained after an 0-10 2023 season.

Despite the Eagles’ struggles in 2023, they reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons under Hamlin.

Calera went 7-4 in 2021 and finished in third place in Class 6A, Region 3 before falling to Spanish Fort in the first round, and they reached the playoffs in 2022 with a 4-7 record, as they lost in the first round to one of the top teams in the state in Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

In addition, Rials will take over for Myles as Calera’s new athletic director. His first day in both positions will be Jan. 16.

A meet-and-greet with Rials will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Calera High School.