published Thursday, November 7th, 2013

North Jackson High School fires coach

After one subpar season, Tony Johnson has been fired as head football coach at North Jackson (Ala.) High School. Johnson was hired in mid-June after North Jackson was sent scrambling to find a coach when David McKinney resigned less than two months after taking the job.

However, the Chiefs finished this season 2-8, the worst in the program's proud 26-year history, which includes 10 region championships in the last 13 seasons. It also marked only the second time the program missed the playoffs.

“Once he got here, he just never seemed to be the right guy,” school principal Sam Houston said. “The pieces never seemed to fit between him and the program and the community.

“It was a bad situation for both parties coming in. Tony stepped to the challenge, but it just didn't work out. But now we won't be rushed to find our next coach. We've got an opportunity to sit down and do a lot of research and find the right guy. We'll find the right guy to get us back where we belong.”

Johnson, 42, has been a coach for 19 years in Alabama, including a one-year head-coaching stint at Dora High. He also played for a national championship team at the University of North Alabama. Prior to taking over at North Jackson, he had been an the offensive coordinator at Leeds High near Birmingham for five years.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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