PLAS hires new football coach Phillip Coggins

Published 9:25 am Wednesday, January 11, 2023

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On Jan. 11, Pike Liberal Arts School announced the hiring of new head football coach and athletic director Phillip Coggins.

Coggins, who has 20 years of coaching experience, comes to PLAS after serving as defensive coordinator for Class 6A’s Chilton County High School in 2022. Prior to that, Coggins served as head coach at Billingsley High School from 2019 through 2021. His Billingsley teams went 14-19 and made the playoffs in all three seasons with him at the helm.

Coggins also served as head coach and athletic director at Highland Home, where his teams went 19-6, including a 12-2 record with a Region Championship in 2018. The 2018 squad made it all the way to the Class 2A Semifinals before losing to eventual state runner-up Luverne.

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Prior to becoming a head coach, Coggins served as defensive coordinator and assistant athletic director at Class 6A’s Wetumpka High School. He’s also served as defensive coordinator at his alma mater Verbena High School.

“Coach Coggins came into a program that suffered years of losing seasons (at Highland Home). His first year they had a winning record of 7-4 and in year two, they were 12-2 and played in the 2A semifinals,” PLAS Foundation Board Chairman Cory Rushing said. “Being a 2A program, we see Coach Coggins’ experience and reputation in our regional area as a significant advantage as we continue to transition into the Alabama High School Athletic Association.”

Coggins won the Alabama Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach of the Year in 2018 and he holds a career head-coaching record of 33-25 with his teams making the playoffs in each of his five seasons as a head coach. Coggins has also sent a number of high school players to the college ranks, including former Alabama and Tennessee player Brandon Kennedy.

“Coach Coggins is committed to growing student athletes mentally, physically and spiritually, which align with our school values,” PLAS Head of School Eric Burkett said. “He already has vision, goals and plan of action. I know our faculty will enjoy working with him and I am confident Coach Coggins will enhance our Pike Lib culture of faith and family.”

Coggins is a graduate of Alabama State University and is a native of Verbana. Coggins replaces interim coach Charlie Scofield, who also serves as head basketball coach at the school.

“I have a genuine passion to see students succeed in every aspect of life,” Coggins said. “I think sports play a key role in this development by teaching principles that will translate into life.

“These principles include a commitment to excellence and doing this the correct way, even when it is not the easy way. Sports teaches hard work, teamwork perseverance and, perhaps most importantly, accountability.”

Rushing said that the school wanted to ensure that they made the right decision with this hire and thanked Scofield for his service to the program.

“This was a lengthy and difficult process. I want to thank our Search Committee and, specifically, Chairman Troy Weed, for ensuring an efficient, professional and thorough process,” Rushing said. “We received over 40 inquiries, which took many hours to extensively review and evaluate each candidate to ensure we were making the best decision. I am confident we have done so with Coach Coggins and look forward to beginning this new era for our school.

“Coach Scofield provided leadership and stability and I know the Pike family will join me in showing our appreciation for his willingness to serve during a difficult time.”

PLAS Sports Boosters plans to host a meet and greet with Coggins to officially introduce him to the PLAS community in the coming weeks.