E.A. Sports Today

Staff complete

Piedmont approves position for Moten, completes Bulldogs’ football staff three weeks before the start of practice

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

PIEDMONT – Steve Smith filled the final opening on his Piedmont football coaching staff Monday with the approval of former Cedar Bluff receiver Josh Moten to oversee that dimension of his offense.

The Bulldogs have had three veteran assistants leave since February for either head coaching jobs or state retirement and have steadily replaced them throughout the summer with coaches with strong ties to Smith.

In addition to Moten, the Bulldogs have hired Gadsden City assistant Taylor Talbot to coach outside linebackers and Saks assistant Kevin Bedwell to coach the defensive line.

They replace Oscar Bonds, who left to become head coach at Tanner; Mark Mitchell, who left in February to become head coach at Winston County; and Mike Benefield, who retired from the Alabama system and is now on Scott Peavey’s staff at Haralson (Ga.) County.

Moten was approved as a middle school physical education teacher. Talbot, approved at the end of the school year, will teach agri-science. Bedwell, approved a couple weeks ago, will be the director of the alternative school. Moten also will be an assistant basketball coach and Bedwell an assistant track coach.

“My philosophy on coaching is the first thing is they’ve got to be great with kids and coaching kids,” Smith said. “I probably go a little different than others. When I look at potential guys to help us there are certain things I look for that don’t really matter as far as blackboard and marker go and Xs and Os. I’m more concerned with the type of people working with our type kids and the men they are, the character they are and trying to set a good example for our players.

“We lost three great ones, but we hit a home run with the three we brought in to replace them.”

The new assistants’ ties to Smith go way back. Moten played for him at Cedar Bluff since seventh grade and graduated as the state’s all-time leading receiver in any classification. Bedwell was his first quarterback at Piedmont and helped coach in the program while he was going to college. Talbot and Smith never worked together at Cedar Bluff – he arrived the year Smith went to Piedmont – but the head coach always followed his career.

The staff completion comes as summer workouts continue and 12 days before the Bulldogs’ annual 7-on-7 passing camp.

In other coaching news, the Oxford school board meets Tuesday morning when it is expected to approve the Yellow Jackets’ new wrestling coach. Also Monday, Ragland hired former Pleasant Valley assistant Colton Morris to coach softball and girls basketball.

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