By Morgan Bryce
A season that saw Opelika High School advance to the state semifinals, win 11 games and average 32.3 points-per-game helped Assistant Coach/Offensive Coordinator Jonathan Chandler net the Alabama Football Coaches Association’s 6A Assistant Coach of the Year Award this week.
Chandler, who has been with the Opelika program since 2013, said the award “came as a surprise” when Coach Erik Speakman informed him that he had received the recognition this week.
“I am appreciative for the nomination and recommendation by the ALFCA Board Members and committee. I am proud to represent our school and football team, but I think an award like this truly defines what Opelika Football is all about: tradition, family and hard work,” Chandler said.
Other winners were Chad Merrill of Vestavia Hills (7A), Kevin May of Bibb County (5A), Brandon Dean of UMS-Wright (4A), Neal Posey of St. James (3A), Blake Jennings of Ohatchee (2A) and David Watts of Brantley (1A).
Chandler and his wife Tiffany are both originally from Opelika. They have one daughter.
“As far as (future) coaching career plans, I definitely have personal and family oriented goals but I think it is important for me to be present and focused in the opportunity that I have now and strive to be the best version of myself that I can be. I am hopeful that mindset carries over into my family, the students and players that I have the opportunity to be around,” Chandler said.
Chandler will formally receive the award at the ALFCA’s Coach of the Year Banqet on Jan. 25 in Montgomery.
For more information on OHS athletics, visit www.opelikathletics.com.