BOE finally hires ECHS coach

Published 1:59 pm Monday, April 12, 2010

By By Adam Prestridge
The Escambia County School Board voted Wednesday to hire Atmore resident Mark Heaton as the next coach to lead the Escambia County Blue Devils’ football program.
Heaton, 31, has served as head coach at J.U. Blacksher High School in Uriah for the past two seasons where he has compiled a 13-9 record including a second round appearance in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 1A state playoffs.
Heaton was on campus at ECHS Friday meeting with faculty and staff, as well as, some of his new players. As for Spring Break next week, his will be busy.
Heaton’s first official day on campus will be April 19. That week, he plans to meet with the coaching staff and players.
And Heaton’s expectations are cut and dry.
Heaton, who will serve as offensive coordinator, plans to run a pro-style offense with “multiple formations, sets and motions,” he said.
On the other side of the ball, Heaton wants to attack.
Thursday, Heaton resigned his position as head coach at J.U. Blacksher, a day he said was tough.
Getting on a workout program is one of the first plans Heaton has for his new team.
The Blue Devils will take on Robertsdale on the road May 14 in the spring jamboree game.
Prior to J.U. Blacksher, Heaton was the offensive coordinator under his high school football coach Cody Keene at Northview for four seasons. He came to NHS with Keene who he also coached with at Oglethorpe County High School in Lexington, Ga. as offensive coordinator for two seasons and as an assistant at Muscle Shoals High School for one year.
Heaton was the quarterback at Demopolis High School and earned a scholarship to play quarterback and punter at the University of West Alabama in Livingston. Following graduation in 2001, Heaton immediately began his coaching career.
The recommendation to hire Heaton was held out for discussion in executive session for a brief discussion prior to approval.
Heaton, who teaches physical education, is married to the former Betty Bosley, who teaches reading at Northview and is the volleyball and track coach. The couple has two girls, ages four and two.

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