Blake Boren resigns as Montevallo High football coach, athletic director

Published 2:11 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

After a successful tenure as the Bulldogs coach, Blake Boren is moving on from Montevallo to a new challenge.

Boren notified his team in a meeting on Friday, March 22 that he will resign as Montevallo High School’s varsity football head coach and athletic director.

MHS appointed defensive coordinator Garrett Langer as the interim head coach in addition to his roles as head coach of the boys soccer and wrestling programs while the school conducts a coaching search.

After four years at the helm of the Bulldogs, Boren believed the program was on solid enough footing to ensure a smooth transition.

However, that doesn’t mean it was an easy decision for a man with deep ties to the school as a former player and son of former Montevallo coach Charles Boren.

“Sometimes in this business, you have to make tough personal decisions,” Boren said. “And I think when you look at where we’re at with our family, we’re trying to, move on to a great place. But again, thinking about Montevallo, it’s had a tremendous impact on my life and career and I’m very appreciative of that.”

Boren leaves Montevallo sixth in all-time wins with a 26-17 record according to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society and just two wins shy of his father Charles, who had a 28-22 record from 1998-2002.

In the process, he won seven or more games in three of his four seasons, beating the historic winning percentage of 46 percent.

He is also one of only six coaches to win a playoff game in 94 years of the program after Montevallo defeated St. James in overtime in the first round of the 2020 Class 4A playoffs.

His impact went beyond the football field as he lobbied the city and Shelby County Schools for facility improvements to both the high school and Theron Fisher Stadium.

Just as an example, the weight room in particular hadn’t been touched in decades and may be one of the biggest examples of Boren’s transformative impact.

“The day I got there, every piece of equipment that was basically in the weight room was pretty much there when I played there 20 years ago,” Boren said. “There’s nothing today as we leave it that was there when we got here, from new flooring, new racks, new bumper plates, new silver plates, new bars, everything has sort of been transformed.”

In his four-year tenure, the school received new stadium irrigation, renovations to the concessions stand, visitors’ bleachers and home and visitor locker rooms, a new gym floor for basketball and volleyball, new Nike uniforms free to students and the weight room.

“All in all, we’ve had a really good run out of here and obviously we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished and excited for the future of Montevallo athletics,” Boren said.

Looking ahead to the future is a key reason why Boren decided to move now.

Montevallo is preparing for a move up to Class 5A next year, which Boren anticipated with the growth of the city and helped prepare the facilities and team culture with an eye toward that future. In addition, much of last season’s 7-3 team will return in 2024 and bring continuity to the roster.

While he is finalizing his next destination, he wanted to make sure the school could get his successor in the position in time to capitalize on the returning players with a full summer and potentially take advantage of the spring as well.

“Obviously in education, the process can sometimes be drawn out in getting all the way through the hiring process, but I think it’s important to go ahead and give Montevallo plenty of time in selecting the next head football coach,” Boren said in a statement. “I think that whomever the school selects, he should have the opportunity to do spring if he wishes while also getting a full summer to prepare for the upcoming season.”

Boren knows that the program is in a good state now and hopes whoever comes after him can build on his success.

“I think from my standpoint, it’s not so much about what we’re doing in the future as it is just making sure that we protect what’s here now,” Boren said.

Part of the reason the program has become what is has is the Class of 2024, which was Boren’s first senior class that he coached from beginning to end.

Over the past year, Boren led the team in leadership training to help the team come closer together, and it resulted in a three-win improvement in 2023 that nearly took them to their third playoff appearance in four seasons.

That season culminated a journey that started back in spring 2020 when he first arrived at Montevallo and spoke to that class as middle schoolers.

“When I got here, they were in the eighth grade and one of things that we had talked about was these next four years were going to be special, they were going to be impactful,” Boren said. “I remember talking to them days before COVID hit and shut us down about how we’re fixing to go on a journey together and I’m looking forward to standing up with you guys at the completion of your career and looking back and just having created some special memories. I think we’ve done that.”

Boren expressed gratitude for his coaching staff, administrators and everyone who has supported him during his tenure.

“This has been a big part of my life, and I’m just really appreciative of everything that’s happened for us here and our great players and great school,” Boren said. “It’s been a tremendous four years.”