AHSAA names Oxford principal Heath Harmon as new executive director

Published 2:59 pm Thursday, June 6, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY – After a month-long search for a new executive director, the AHSAA has made its choice on who will lead high school athletics in the state of Alabama.

Oxford High School principal Heath Harmon was announced as the AHSAA’s new executive director at a special press conference at the association’s Montgomery office on Thursday, June 6.

“He has proven to be an effective leader, and we are confident of his ability, excited about his enthusiasm, and look forward to working with him to lead our association into the future,” AHSAA Central Board of Control president Mike Walsh said.

Harmon was honored to take the position after being selected by the Central Board of Control from multiple applicants.

“This is an honor,” Harmon said. “From the time I began coaching through being a principal, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the AHSAA. There is a longstanding tradition of serving member schools that is recognized locally as well as nationally.”

Harmon has served as the principal at Oxford High School for the past eight years, and his move to become the AHSAA executive director comes as the latest chapter in a lengthy career in education.

He has experience in the classroom, on the sidelines and as an administrator across a 26-year career as an educator.

His coaching background includes 11 combined seasons as a head football coach at Cordova, Munford, Andalusia and White Plains dating back to 2002. Before he became a head coach, he was an assistant football coach at Etowah County to start his coaching career.

During Harmon’s time as Oxford principal, he implemented multiple programs to foster professional development and increase student engagement, according to the school’s website.

Harmon has worked closely with the AHSAA over the course of his career and holds the association in high regard.

“The AHSAA’s longstanding tradition of serving member schools and support of education-based athletics is recognized locally as well as nationally,” Harmon said. “We are proud of our past and preparing for our future. I look forward to working with the Central Board of Control, the AHSAA staff, our member school principals, athletic directors, coaches, and officials from across the state. Together we will make sure the student-athletes in Alabama have a great experience participating in education-based athletics.”

Harmon takes over as the sixth executive director in AHSAA history, succeeding Alvin Briggs. He suddenly announced his retirement on April 10 at a Central Board of Control meeting after three years in the position.

He started the meeting by reading a retirement letter that wasn’t on the agenda, leading to a unanimous vote by the board to endorse his retirement and kicking off an immediate search for a new executive director.

Harmon will have just under three months before Briggs’ retirement goes into effect on Sept. 2 to prepare for taking over as the top figure within the state’s high school athletic association.