Photo courtesy of al.com
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
For the third time in four years, Etowah High School will start off a season with a different head football coach.
However, EHS Principal Nate Ayers is confident that the latest one will stick around for a while.
Matt Glover (pictured at right) was hired as the school’s football coach at the December 15 meeting of the Attalla City Schools Board of Education meeting, a decision that Ayers believes will reap dividends sooner than later.
“We had things that we were looking for in a search for a head coach that were not optional,” said Ayers. “When Coach Glover shared his vision of what our program could be like and which direction we could go, it matched up with every single thing we were looking for. Add in the intangibles of the things he’s been able to gain over his coaching career and his relationships with his players and college coaches as well, it was really a no-brainer (to hire Glover).”
Glover served as defensive coordinator at Clay-Chalkville for the past three seasons, helping the 2021 Cougars go 15-0 and win the Class 6A state championship. Glover was named AHSAA 6A Assistant Coach of the Year following the season. Glover was head coach at St. Clair County (2017-18), Pinson Valley (2009-2016) and Moody (2006-08), posting an overall record of 76-70. His 2017 Saints went 10-4 and made it to the Class 5A state semifinals.
“I didn’t understand all the dynamics needed to make a successful program when I took the Moody job, the Pinson job and even the St. Clair job,” Glover said. “Things like having the right principal and community involvement. I wasn’t just going to take any job; it had to be the right situation.”
“We did not want someone who would use this job for an opportunity to go somewhere else,” said Ayers. “At the end of the day, our community expects a standard, and it’s not okay not to uphold those standards. Winning football games is important, but ultimately that not what’s it’s about. I want the intangibles that our kids pick up from being a part of our program to last a lifetime.”
Ayers added that while several excellent applicants were interviewed, Glover turned out to be an ideal fit.
“It’s not just okay to hire a great football coach; you have to hire a great human as well, and I believe we have that person in Matt. There were a lot of marquee jobs open in the state at the same time ours was, so Matt had other options. But he wanted to be in Attalla, and we wanted him to want to be here. I want to retire with Matt Glover as our head football coach.”
`Glover replaces Ryan Locke, whose 2020 and 2021 Blue Devil squads went a combined 15-9. The 2020 team qualified for the Class 4A state semifinals. Locke resigned last month following the end of the season.
`“I really like that [Etowah’s] vision is the same as I have,” said Glover. “Expectations are high, but I don’t want to go somewhere expectations are low. Growing up in Springville, I remember the players and the tradition that [Etowah] had. I think it’s a really good situation.”
This article was supplemented by al.com.