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Hoover DC Chad McGehee named James Clemens’ head football coach

AL.com logo AL.com 2/26/2021 Ben Thomas, al.com
a man holding a baseball bat: Hoover defensive coordinator Chad McGehee directs his players during football workouts at Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday, June 25, 2020. © Dennis Victory | preps@al.com/al.com/TNS Hoover defensive coordinator Chad McGehee directs his players during football workouts at Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

When the Hoover football team played James Clemens in the second round of the 2019 Class 7A playoffs, Bucs defensive coordinator Chad McGehee liked what he saw.

“We went to overtime with them,” McGehee said of the 23-20 Hoover win. “I was very impressed with their team, with their physicality and just how they played.”

The 44-year-old McGehee will get a lot closer look at the Jets now.

After three years of serving as Josh Niblett’s defensive coordinator at Hoover, McGehee was named James Clemens head coach on Thursday.

He replaces Wade Waldrop, who left in January to become head coach at Florence High.

“We’re really excited,” McGehee said. “This is an awesome opportunity for us. I’m excited because it’s a good school with good athletics and good academics and a really good community.”

A native of Gadsden, McGehee played football at Alabama as a walk-on from 1995-1998.

In addition to his time at Hoover, his coaching career has included defensive coordinator jobs at Atlanta-area schools Grayson, North Paulding, Parkview and North Cobb. He also spent two seasons (2005-2006) as head coach at Elkmont.

He takes over a James Clemens teams that has been to the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons but hasn’t advanced past the second round.

“We are going to come in and go to work,” McGehee said. “We are going to try to get better every day. In my opinion, James Clemens is not a place that is trending down. I think it is headed in the right direction. Having worked with Josh for three years and seeing how he runs his program, I think there are some things I can implement that he does that will help us get better.”

The Jets were 8-3 in 2020 – though two wins and one loss came due to COVID-19 forfeits. They lost to Hewitt-Trussville in the first round of the playoffs.

“My plan is to just come in and listen, observe and evaluate and be really transparent about what we are doing and the direction I feel like we need to head in,” he said. “We already have some really good pieces in place, have some really good coaches on staff and some good players. We’re already headed in the right path. That is what is exciting to me. From that standpoint, there is not a whole lot we have to do to be even more successful.”

a group of baseball players playing a football game: Hoover defensive coordinator Chad McGehee watches during football workouts at Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday, June 25, 2020. © Dennis Victory | preps@al.com/al.com/TNS Hoover defensive coordinator Chad McGehee watches during football workouts at Hoover High School in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
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