Photo: Former Gadsden City High head football coach Bart Sessions recently was hired as coach at McAdory. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger file photo)
By Ben Thomas/al.com
Former Gadsden City High School head football coach Bart Sessions was approved as the new McAdory head football coach earlier this week by the Jefferson County Board of Education.
Sessions replaces David Powell, who left the Yellow Jackets after 25 years this spring to become head coach at Sumiton Christian.
“God definitely has got a hand in everything,” Sessions said. “He’s put us in a great place that, in my opinion, was maybe the best job open in this cycle. It’s certainly one of the top jobs in Birmingham.”
Sessions is 42-27 overall as a head coach. He spent three years at McGill-Toolen in Mobile, one year at Tuscaloosa County and the last two years at Gadsden City. Sessions went 2-8 in 2016 at Tuscaloosa County and 3-7 in each of his years at Gadsden City.
Sessions, who was relieved of his coaching duties with the Titans in January, admitted it’s been a difficult year for him and his wife, Birmingham television sports anchor Simone Eli.
“We prayed about it and put everything in His hands,” Sessions said. “It’s certainly been a challenging year for our family. We turned it over to God and, in our opinion, He put us in a great situation. Obviously, Simone and I – our two jobs will be in the same city – which has not been the case in five years. We are excited about that and excited about history and tradition and McAdory. We want to honor that and, hopefully, add to it. I think it’s a place where you can win state championships.”
Last year’s McAdory team went 10-2 and also lost to Spanish Fort in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
“Certainly, we’re excited to get in there and meet with the staff and kind of see if there are any additions we need to make,” Sessions said. “I’m looking forward to meeting with the players. From all indications, they had a successful spring and have a good team coming back. I’m anxious to get to know their strengths, so we can take advantage of them and roll right into fall.”
The Yellow Jackets play in Class 6A, Region 4 along with Hueytown, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, Bessemer City, Paul Bryant, Northridge and Brookwood. McAdory is scheduled to open at Helena on Aug. 23.
“Obviously, we’re in a very competitive region,” Sessions said. “There are some very good football teams in there. I’ve had a chance to coach against most of them in the last few years. I know they play good football. Then, if you come out of that region and make the playoffs, you are pushed to the south side of the bracket, and we know there are good teams in that bracket.”