Prep Football PREP FOOTBALL: McCain hired as Hanceville’s new head coach | CullmanSense

Prep Football

PREP FOOTBALL: McCain hired as Hanceville’s new head coach

Cody McCain, a 2004 graduate of West Point High School, has been hired as the new head football coach at Hanceville High. / Instagram

HANCEVILLE - The search is over for the next Hanceville High School head football coach. Clements High School head coach Cody McCain has accepted the position at Hanceville, principal Jimmy Collins confirmed Monday.

McCain posted a 10-30 record in his four years with the Colts and eight of those wins came in the last two seasons. McCain will step into the role left vacant after the dismissal of Hanceville High alumni Craig Flanigan on Nov. 8. The Bulldogs posted a 4-16 record in the last two seasons under Flanigan. Flanigan was hired at Hanceville on July 19, 2016, following longtime coach Danny Miller's retirement.

“I grew up in and graduated high school at West Point in 2004 and after college I was in south Alabama for five years working and coaching at some schools down there and came to Clements four years ago, so in total it’s been nine years in teaching, coaching, education and all that and really for the past few years I’ve had a real strong desire to get back to Cullman County and back closer to home,” McCain said. “I always had a lot of respect for the Hanceville program, there’s a lot of history and tradition there over the course of 93 years of football that have been played there and they have like a 60 percent winning percentage over the history of the program, so like I said, I just felt it was the best place in the county to coach football. I know there have been some down years, but I think there’s a lot of talent there and there’s a chance to come in and compete right from the beginning and do some good things.”

Collins is excited to bring in McCain and believes he’ll make a positive impact on his athletes on and off the field.

“We believe in Cody’s character and experience and we believe that he will be a great asset for our kids,” Collins said. “We think he’s going to be a great leader for our kids and he’ll be able to help them excel academically and win football games.”

Being from Cullman County and playing against the Bulldogs the last two seasons has given McCain a lot of opportunities to evaluate some of the players he’ll have to work with this fall. 

“We played Hanceville the last two years at Clements, so I got a chance to see those guys up close and personal two years in a row and thought there was a lot of talent on the field and I feel like we can do some good things with it,” McCain said. “My family and my wife’s parents actually still live in Cullman, so we’ve been down a pretty good bit on weekends and I’ve been around, and I’ve seen those guys play basketball. I went to the regional tournament just as a spectator and saw the game they played against Holly Pond. I also noticed that there were only seven or eight seniors on the roster last year and it looked like the bulk of the skill guys were returning, a quarterback, a couple running backs, some receivers, some guys on defense that make you excited and some young linemen coming up.”

McCain continued, “It helps a little bit being from here and being 3A at Clements, also. Last year for the playoffs it was the cross region, the region that Hanceville’s in now, so I’m familiar with what Fultondale’s been able to do recently and J.B. Pennington and Vinemont, Holly Pond, teams like that and also Midfield moving down. I think it’s a really competitive region, it’s a tough region, there are some really good teams at the top and I don’t think there’s really an easy out anywhere; you’re going to have to be ready to play every Friday. I definitely look forward to studying them and some other teams as we get closer to the season.”

Schematically, McCain has nothing set in stone on the offensive side of the ball and plans to mold the scheme around the talent, but defensively he feels confident about the style he’ll be bringing to Hanceville.

“As we get closer to spring practice starting and get more of a chance to evaluate some guys we’ll have a plan. I haven’t gotten a chance to really sit down and talk with the coaches that are there yet, so I’ll get a feel from them and we’ll cater the offense to the strength of the team, whatever that may be, and come up with a plan there,” McCain said. “I think defensively we’ll be pretty solidly locked into our 4-2-5, we’ve had a lot of success running that at Clements for the last couple of years so I feel pretty strongly that it’s a flexible enough defense that it allows you to bring enough guys down into the box to stop the run and also drop enough guys back into coverage against more spread offenses.”

McCain reflected on his experience with the Colts and some of the things he learned about building a program that he is anxious to get started here for the Bulldogs.

“I had a really good experience overall at Clements. I’m appreciative to the kids that came out and played and for everybody that put work into that program. At one time, Clements had a six-year home losing streak, there were five or six years in a row with only one win and in the past two years we’ve been able to win eight games and at a place like Clements that’s tough to do,” McCain said. “The kids bought into what we were trying to do; a lot of those guys stayed with the program for multiple years, they bought into the workout program and because of that work they were able to overcome a lot of those stigmas that work against Clements. It’s just about trying to relay the message to kids when you come into a new school that the turnaround process is not an overnight process. It takes some time and you’ve got to be willing to buy in for the long haul and invest now for that to pay off in the future.”

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