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Region 1’s Opp still ‘moving along’ with coaching search

By Andrew Garner, The Andalusia Star-News

Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart said the search for a new head football coach at Opp High School is “moving along.”

“We’re not knee-deep into it,” Smithart said. “We’ve got a couple folks who we think we want to take a look, and just see what happens.”

Jack Whigham was relieved of his duties as the Bobcats head coach the week following his Class 3A first-round playoff loss to Fayette County last month.

Since the position came open, Smithart said there has been a “great deal” of interest, adding that he doesn’t know how many applications have been received.

Smithart didn’t say whether the two people the school are looking at are within the county.

“We really haven’t gotten deep into it,” he said. “We’re just looking at them on paper right now.”

Lately, rumors have been swirling that former Alabama and current Luverne coach Mike DuBose was going to fill the head-coaching spot. DuBose is an Opp native.

When asked whether DuBose was taken into consideration, Smithart said he thinks DuBose is “happy where he is.”

Smithart said there is a list of criteria board members want to consider when looking for the next coach of the Bobcats.

“We’ve kind of got an idea of some things that we’re looking for,” he said. “We’re just going to take those and evaluate our criteria against the applicants, and get us a football coach for the future.”

As far as when a new coach will be hired, Smithart said the hiring process will move “pretty quick.”

“It could be before the end of the year (that Opp will have another coach), but no later than the middle of January,” he said. “Our expectations are to have somebody in by the first of February. “