CURRY — D.J. Emerson isn’t one to back away from a challenge.
Now he’s got one.
Emerson is the new Curry High School head football coach. He inherits a team that has struggled on the field for the last two seasons after reaching the playoffs in 2018.
The veteran assistant, who spent nine years at Walker High School and last year as the offensive coordinator at Cordova High School, is excited for the opportunity to prove himself.
“Being a head coach is something I’ve wanted and I feel I’m ready for. What better place than right here?” Emerson said. “I’m not coming into a job where they are coming off 10 wins and I’m pressured to do things a certain way. They are hungry. I can sense the desire to be better and to want to do things right. I’m not coming into this blind or naive. I know this isn’t going to be an overnight process. They are welcome and open to change. They want different ideas. To me, that’s reassuring, refreshing and exciting all at the same time.”
Emerson replaces coach Jeff Foshee, who went winless in his two years at Curry before taking the head coaching job at Hale County.
The Yellow Jackets forfeit their last four games in 2020 due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
Curry’s last win came in October of 2018 against Cordova.
Emerson isn’t concerned about the past at Curry, just the future. He said he program is going to be based on six words — family, fast, focus, fearless, fun and finish.
“I told the kids, and this is kind of how I am — we are going to try to get a little better every day. The wins and losses aren’t necessary going to define that. It’s going to be how we do things. Our motto is going to be ‘all in.’ I want our players, our supporters and the community to be all in and moving toward the same direction.”
Emerson was an All-State receiver at Hamilton during his playing days. He graduated from the school in 2004.
After graduating from the University of Alabama, Emerson’s first job was at Maddox Middle School where he was the head football, basketball and track and field coach. From there he spent seven years as an assistant at Walker High School under coaches John Holladay and Heath Brunner. He spent two years in Tennessee before returning to the county last year at Cordova High School.
Emerson plans on putting all of Curry’s football teams, regardless of age, on the same page.
“There has been some kind of disconnect between the youth, the middle school and the high school programs. My sole mission right now is connecting everybody and bringing them together. In the summer, the middle school and high school will be together. Over the next two months we will try to bridge that gap between the programs. I don’t care if you are 4 or 18, if you are wearing that Curry jersey I want us to be together, moving in the same direction,” he said.