Staff photo by C Chris McCarthy
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Southside’s search for a head football coach ended last Tuesday (March 2) in Gadsden.
Miles Holcomb was hired as the school’s 28th football coach at the Etowah County Schools Board of Education meeting last. Holcomb (pictured above) replaces Gary Nelson, who resigned earlier this year after one season with the Panthers.
Southside is coming off a 2020 season that included a 7-4 record, a berth in the Class 6A state playoffs and a victory over county rival Etowah for the first time in four years.
“The goal is getting the opportunity to run your own program, and I can’t wait to get started,” said Holcomb, a 2005 graduate of Crossville High School and 2010 graduate of Shorter University in Rome, Ga. “I’ve been involved with football since the first grade, and played from the seventh grade through college, so football in the fall is what I do.”
The chance to coach at a school with two incorporated communities appealed to Holcomb.
“The opportunity to pull kids from Southside and Rainbow City is fascinating. There’s not a whole lot of places where you can get two communities to come together as one. Another thing is that it’s a big school system that at the same time has a small-town feel. One of the first things we want to do is make it a family-type program, because we’re about building relationships with our kids and with their parents.”
Holcomb shared that he will install a “Run and Raid” offense and run a “Wefense” at Southside.
“It’s a fun offense where we play fast if we need to and slow down if we need to, depending on what the situation is. On defense, we’re going to swarm to the football. It’s all about sharpening your edge and getting one percent better every day. When our kids come in every day, are they willing to find their best and then to understand that yesterday’s best isn’t good enough anymore. Our main goal in the short term is to focus on how we do things rather than what we do and who we are. It’s about how we go about accomplishing our goals.”
After graduating from Shorter, Holcomb served as wide receiver coach at Crossville for three years. He then served as offensive coordinator at North Jackson and Haleyville before returning to Crossville as head coach for two seasons. Holcomb spent two years as quarterback and wide receiver coach at Hoover before spending 2020 as offensive coordinator at Alpharetta, Ga.
“We’re super-thrilled to be here and we can’t wait to get started,” said Holcomb. “We’ve been moving around too much and we were looking for somewhere to call home. I’m from right up the road on Sand Mountain, and we’re looking to make lifelong relationships and lifelong friendships.”