MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - After four years in Montgomery, Park Crossing High School head football coach Smitty Grider is on the move north. Monday, Grider was officially announced as the new head coach of Hazel Green High School in Madison County.
As Grider departs Park Crossing, he leaves behind three regional championships and a 38-9 record overall. This past season, Grider lead the Thunderbirds to a 9-1 regular season record before the AHSAA State Playoffs. In the playoffs, The T'Birds defeated Bessmer City before losing to Opelika in the second round.
"We're very excited that Smitty Grider is coming as our next football coach," said Hazel Green Principal Darrell Long. "He is a proven winner and I know he will be an excellent role model for our students, staff and community. Coach Grider will be a great fit for our community and school."
Prior to his time at Park Crossing, Grider also coached at Beauregard for eight seasons. In his eight years there, Grider compiled a 64-28 record and took his team to the playoffs seven times, which means he's no stranger to success.
"Hazel Green is a great program and I know we can build something really special here. This place is a great place to raise a family and we are excited about our move to the Madison County School System," stated Grider. "I am thankful to Superintendent Matt Massey for this opportunity."
Grider is a Montgomery native and graduate of Jeff Davis High School. Prior to his time as a head coach at the varsity level, Grider also spent eight years as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Opelika High School.