It all started with an article on former Stanhope Elmore head coach Jeff Foshee .
Eric Woodley, recently installed as the new principal at Curry High, had been discussing the article with his wife Holly, who had attended school with Foshee. As he looked over a list of applicants for positions at his school, he came across Foshee’s name.
“They had read the article,” Foshee said. “As soon as he saw my name on the computer, he called his wife. I had applied for a bunch of jobs on the state web site and he saw my name. It’s kind of a coincidence, I guess, that his wife and I went to school together so he kind of knows a little about me.”
Woodley had served as head football coach of the Yellow Jackets a decade ago, so he knows the difficulty of finding football talent in the area just north of Jasper. The program hasn’t had a winning season since 1996 and has had just 10 winning seasons in the last 49 years dating back to 1969.
Foshee, a defensive-minded coach who served as a graduate assistant at Alabama under Gene Stallings and as defensive coordinator for his father at Stanhope Elmore, was just what the Yellow Jackets needed on the defensive side of the ball.
Foshee will start his new position as the driver’s education teacher and assistant football coach on Monday, ending a two-year search for a coaching position after stepping down from Stanhope Elmore in the wake of allegations that he paid a teacher to change grades for a student.
“I knew I was probably going to have to go a little way out, but I was in a situation where I could come home on the weekends and see my kids,” Foshee said. “And they made that very easy for me. It just seems like a very good fit.”
Foshee had recently interviewed for the head coaching position at Autaugaville and had been approached about a coaching vacancy at Wetumpka High, but said he felt comfortable with the job at the Walker County school after talking to Woodley and head coach Philip Smith despite the Yellow Jackets’ lack of success on the gridiron.
“I’m not even sure (of Curry’s past history),” he said. “They were 5A and now they’ve dropped to 4A, so the schedule may not be quite as tough as it was. But like I said, they’ve given me an opportunity and I’m going to work hard for him, whatever he needs me to do. It’s been a blessing and a good opportunity. The people at Curry have been really good to me.”
The school’s drop to 4A will reunite the defensive-minded Foshee with offensive-minded Lance Tucker, his former teammate at Alabama who is now the head coach at area rival Fayette County.
Foshee isn’t thinking about that Sept. 21 meeting in Fayette. Right now, all he’s thinking about is the start of football practice on Monday. He traded in his pickup truck for a more fuel-efficient Fusion earlier this week and left for Curry to get a jump on the first day of practice.
“I’m anxious,” he said. “I’ve been a head coach for 16 years and this time of year, you know almost everything you need to know about your football team and I’m sitting here – of course, it’s not my football team, I’m just an assistant – but I want to know what I’m working with.”