Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer
By Wil Crews with contributions from D. Mark Mitchell
After six seasons as the head football coach at Auburn High School, Adam Winegarden is moving on. As the Observers own D. Mark Mitchell reported earlier, Winegarden was approved to become the new head coach at Tuscaloosa County by the Tuscaloosa County School Board on Monday night.
“This was a very difficult decision for me and my family,” Winegarden told Mitchell on a phone call following the announce from the Tuscaloosa County School Board. “Auburn is a special place. I am blessed to have been the head coach at Auburn High… the program here is in great shape. The kids work extremely hard and give every ounce of energy when playing. I’m a builder. Tuscaloosa is home for us. That’s a huge plus but was not the determining factor. I’m a builder… I feel like Tuscaloosa County is a perfect place for me. I can help rebuild the program. I will miss AHS and all the relationships I’ve made, at the same time I feel like Tuscaloosa County is the place we need to be.“
It was just over three months ago when Winegarden led the Auburn High to the AHSAA Class 7A State Championship game – their first appearance since 2013. For most of the contest, the Tigers were in complete control, dominating the favorited Thompson Warriors in Byrant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. That was until the end of the game, when Thompson scored 10 points in the final 18 seconds to win the state title on a last-second field goal.
Winegarden leaves Auburn with a 56-19 record, three double-digit win seasons, two tips to the state semifinal game, one regional title and one championship appearance.
“Coach Winegarden has done a great job during his time at Auburn High as our football coach,” said Dan Norton, Auburn City Schools athletic director. “We wish him and his family the best as they look to take on a new opportunity.”
Winegarden replaces Jay Todd, who posted a 5-15 record in two seasons at Tuscaloosa County.
Winegarden will be appearing as a guest on “On the Mark” Fox Sports the Game 910-1310 at 7:25 a.m. Wednesday morning.