Auburn High baseball coach Matt Cimo confirmed during an appearance of my radio show, “On the Mark” on FOX Sports the Game radio on the iHeartRadio app that he will retire in May.
“I have been so blessed by God, from administration, teachers, student-athletes, assistant coaches, loyalty — wow, have I been Blessed,” he said. “I am at peace. It has been 44 years of baseball when you add up my playing days through the Minors and coaching. I am going to miss it.”
We discussed his career and how times have changed over the years.
“I learned early on, teaching is first, baseball is second,” Cimo said. “Dr. Ed Richardson taught me that lesson early in my career. Wayne Murphy, Clay McCall, Coach Furlow and Norton as athletic directors — I love Auburn High and am so proud to have coached here for 32 years. My longtime assistant, Tommy Carter has been with me 26 years, and our program has won more than any program in Alabama during that time. So many great kids have played for me.
Cimo was hired by Auburn City Schools in 1992 and while there, he led his teams to more than 600 wins and four state titles. He won four ASWA Coach of Year awards, three National Federa-tion of High School Sports Coach of the Year awards and the esteemed Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Sammy Dunn Coach of the Year award. He was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Coach Cimo’s Tigers swept the Central Red Devils last Friday night by scores of 8-5 and 3-1 to stay alive in the playoff picture. Entering this week’s final Area series, three teams are alive for the two playoff spots from the Area: Central is 3-1, Smiths Station is 3-1, Auburn is 2-2 and Ope-lika is 0-4.
This week’s final Area matchups will determine who makes the AHSAA 7A baseball playoffs. Smiths and Central will play the best of three series, while Opelika and Auburn will also play a three game series. Auburn owns the tiebreakers against Smiths Station and Central.

Alvin Briggs, executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, announced his retirement last Wednesday as the Central Board of Education opened its quarterly meeting. The announcement left many coaches, administrators and others stunned.
Briggs took over for former ED Steve Savarese in July of 2021 and will remain in his position through September 1.
Terry Curtis, longtime UMS-Wright head football coach, athletic director and central board of control incoming president, spoke with me during the “On the Mark” radio show and said the AHSAA will name four to five members to a committee to go through the process of hiring the next executive director. Luke Hallmark, Mike Welsh, Kim Kiel and I will probably be a part of the group, but the board will make the final decision.

Loachapoka High School Principal Albert Weeden hired Brandon Hall as the LHS Indians’ new head football coach. Hall comes to Loachapoka from Auburn High School, where he served as assistant on coach Keith Etheredge’s staff. Hall also worked for head coaches Jamey Dubose and Dillon Griggs.

Auburn High’s girls and boys soccer teams won the Area 4 Championship with a perfect 6-0 Area record.
The Lady Tigers are 15-2-1 overall and ranked No. 2 in the 7A polls, while the boys are 12-2-2 and ranked No. 5 in the state. Each team has an explosive offense — the boys average 7.5 goals a game while the girls average 8 goals a game. Both teams await on the results from Area 3 to see who they will play in the first round of the 7A soccer playoffs.

The Bulldog boys golf team defeated Valley on Monday at Point University.
Low scores were posted by Kyle Eppperson (-40), Preston Phengsiri (-44), Nolen Wilson (-46), Carter Nees (49) and Bryan McEntire (48).

The Bulldog Soccer team lost to Stanhope Elmore 6-2 last week. David Cruz and Nolen Wilson scored goals for OHS.
Smiths Station swept OHS in three games last week, eliminating the Dogs from the playoffs. Opelika played at Auburn Wednesday and will host the Tigers Thursday in a doubleheader. If Opelika wins the series, AHS could be eliminated from the playoffs.

D. Mark Mitchell is the sports director at iHeartMedia, host of “On the Mark” Fox Sports the Game 910-1319, co-chair of the Auburn-Opelika Sports Council, chairman of the Super 7 and Dixie Boys Baseball state director.