Hand named new CCHS football coach same day that Carter resigns

Published 7:19 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A former staple of the Chilton County High School basketball program will be the next man to lead the football team.

Donnie Hand was named the new CCHS football coach and athletic director Tuesday, the same day former coach and AD Brian Carter resigned.

Hand coached the school’s basketball team for 12 seasons before retiring in March 2010. Now, he’ll hope to duplicate the success on the gridiron enjoyed by his father, Don Hand, the most recognized coach in program history.

“I’m sort of overwhelmed, sort of in shock, knowing there’s a million things to do and not knowing which one to start with,” Donnie Hand said shortly after his whirlwind hiring.

CCHS Principal Greg DeJarnett said he immediately began looking for a replacement as soon as he learned of Carter’s resignation, which was accepted by the Chilton County Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday.

“We want the best for him and his family,” DeJarnett said. “He did a good job while serving as coach of Chilton County High.”

Carter could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

DeJarnett said his first step was to look at Carter’s assistants, and then at other prospects already at the school.

“The boys needed to know who their coach is going to be, and the coach needs as much time as possible to get their system into place,” DeJarnett said. “I felt like Donnie, having the experience, was the best candidate. I feel like he’s going to do an outstanding job.”

DeJarnett said the decision was made based on Hand’s familiarity with the school and the community, his knowledge of the game and his willingness to work for the betterment of the program.

Carter went 13-19 in his three seasons, including two berths in the state playoffs. He was hired at Spain Park—where he was an assistant before leaving for Clanton—at Monday’s meeting of the Hoover City Schools Board of Education.

Hand served as an assistant football coach at the varsity (four years) and junior high (five years) levels while also coaching CCHS basketball.

He said he called his wife, Tammy, and his father before accepting the position.

“He didn’t want to tell me yes or no, but he gave me some advice,” Hand said about the man who was inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame after winning 120 games in 18 seasons on the Tiger Stadium sidelines.

Hand said he plans to meet with DeJarnett on Wednesday to discuss what will be a quick transition.

“If you had told me when I drove by [Tuesday] morning and saw them out there practicing that I would be coaching them, I would have thought you were crazy,” he said. “I feel like it’s something where I can help the community, help the school.”