Opelika Track and Field head coach Jimmy Johson informed me via telephone that he has resigned as of Monday, June 3. Johnson spent 14 years in the Opelika school system, teaching, coaching football and the track and field program.
Johnson graduated from Opelika in 1997 and played football and ran track. He earned a football scholarship at Jacksonville State University, and graduated from Jax State with an undergrad degree and earned his Masters from Alabama A&M and most recently he earned an “Instructional Leadership Degree.”
Under Johnson’s leadership the Opelika High Track and Field Teams won seven AHSAA Track and Field State Championships, finished second 8 times and finished in the top 3 a record 18 times.
I have known Jimmy for most of his life, broadcasting his football games on the radio, watching him run track, come back home to coach and teach at his alma matter. He made the track and field program better in my opinion.

The Alabama High School Athletic Department announced the seven individuals who were selected as 2024 Making a Difference Award recipients by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.
The seven winners were selected from 90 applicants submitted by AHSAA Member schools. Two locals were selected. LaFayette Athletic Director and head football coach Juan Williams was named the Class 2A recipient. The Class 6A winner was Dr. Brenda Coley principal at Russell County High School.
The other six winners: 1A-AL Gilmore (Elba High School), 3A-Brad Cunningham (Winfield), 4A-Trinna McKenzie-Smith (Jackson) , 5A-Ronald Steele and class 7A Lisa Ivey from Sparkman High.
Each honoree will be recognized at the 2024 AHSAA Summer Conference Championship Coaches Award Banquet, July 18 in Montgomery.

The OHS /OMS Swim Camp session two will be held June 17-19 at the new Aquatics Center at the Opelika Sportsplex. Swimmers will learn competitive swim, strokes and more about the swim team. Register at
OHS Softball camp for ages six through 12 years olds will be July 8 through 10 at West Ridge Park in Opelika. Cost is $60 per person and you can pay online at:
Auburn City Schools will announce the new Auburn High head baseball coach at the June 11 Board of Education meeting. ACS Superintendent Dr Cristen Herrin has a track record of hiring well-known coaches with a solid resume.
The AHS head baseball coach is a tough job for many reasons. The new coach replaces Matt Cimo, who retired after four state titles and numerous area championships. This is one of the most watched hires since Keith Etherdege was hired as AHS football coach.
The AHSAA is expected to announce the new executive director in the coming days. The Central Board of Control was scheduled to interview two candidates for a second time and then go into executive session and decide who they will hire. The Central Board of Control, the governing body of the AHSAA, is made up of individuals from member schools in each district. Opelika City Schools Superintendent Dr. Farrell Seymore is a member of the COB.
Beauregard High assistant baseball coach Britian Murphy was named head baseball coach at Eufaula High, last week. Murphy spent the last eight years as BGHS.
Longtime basketball coach Carolyn Wright announced her retirement last week. Wright spent 32-years at Central High, winning 597 games before leaving to be the AD and girls head basketball coach at JAG High School in Montgomery.
The AHSAA is expected to make an announcement about concerning the high school football championship. The new CFP format calls for first round games to be played at home sites. This would cause an issue if Alabama or Auburn were to host a playoff game after hosting seven high school football championship games. Stay tuned for more details.

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.