Sumiton Christian is searching for a head football coach for the second time in as many years. Mike McCarty, a former standout player for the Eagles, recently stepped down after one year as the …
Sumiton Christian is searching for a head football coach for the second time in as many years.
Mike McCarty, a former standout player for the Eagles, recently stepped down after one year as the head football coach.
Sumiton Christian finished the 2017 season with a 4-6 mark, finishing one win away from the playoffs.
McCarty gave up his position to return to his family in Opelika. McCarty spent the last year away from his family during the week.
“My wife never got the job she wanted in Birmingham. It’s just one of those things that happen. Now, she’s started a business and it would be less disruptive for me to return (to Opelika). It’s bittersweet, but I’m glad to get back home,” McCarty said.
McCarty was a first-team All-State receiver in 2000, helping the Eagles to a school-best 11-1 record.
As a coach, he spent his first seven years as a graduate assistant and full-time assistant coach at West Alabama. Before his time at Sumiton Christian, McCarty’s most recent coaching stint was as the head coach of Point University, a NAIA school located in Georgia, in 2015. He guided the team to the playoffs and was named the Sun Conference Coach of the Year.
Last March, McCarty took over for Bart Lockhart who left Sumiton Christian after two years to become the head coach at Dora High School.
Sumiton Christian started the 2017 season 3-1 before losing five straight games. The Eagles went into their final region game against Meek with a playoff spot on the line. Meek won the game 36-21 to earn the No. 4 spot in Class 1A, Region 7.
Sumiton Christian closed the season with a thrilling 56-55 double overtime win over Marion County. Senior running back Tanner Talley rushed for 256 yards and six touchdowns, adding the game-winning 2-point conversion.
“It was unbelievable year,” McCarty said of his season on the sideline. “The kids were amazing. It was a lot of fun. The kids bought into what we were doing and I got the chance to coach with my dad. Working with the people at the school and (Principal) Mrs. Capps, and being at Sumiton Christian again is something I will cherish.”
Sumiton Christian’s next football coach will be the fourth in five years.
“The thing about Sumiton Christian is that it’s a job that’s going to be successful when they get someone who will stay for a long time. There has been a lot of turnover in the coaching department. Once they get someone who will put down roots, they will take off,” McCarty said.
Sumiton Christian loses star running back Talley as well as All-State receiver Trevor Stokes to graduation. The Eagles make the jump to Class 2A for the 2018 season.