E.A. Sports Today

Etheredge on move?

Oxford football coach confirms contact with Class 7A Auburn High School, but says nothing is official

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Keith Etheredge hasn’t been around Oxford all day, but the news has followed him all around the South.

Oxford football coach Keith Etheredge speaks during the team’s signing day ceremony earlier this month. (Photos by B.J. Franklin)

Reports out of Auburn say Etheredge, Oxford’s head football coach the past two seasons, will be named the next Auburn High School football coach as early as Friday.

He confirmed he has had contact with Auburn officials about the job, but there has been no movement on the hire.

“There is nothing official yet, everybody is way out ahead of this,” Etheredge said Thursday night while watching his daughter play softball in Piedmont. “I have talked to Auburn, but there is nothing official yet. They haven’t had a board meeting or anything.”

The Auburn City School Board has a meeting called Friday.

The three finalists are said to be Etheredge, a former Auburn High defensive coordinator and a coach from Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

Etheredge had been in Mississippi all day Thursday speaking at a coaching clinic and went straight to Piedmont upon returning to town.

“I didn’t get a chance to get to school today,” he said. “This has been plastered everywhere. It’s just put me in a bad situation. I haven’t even had an opportunity to talk to my kids and my other coaches. I’ve talked to a couple (coaches), but not all of them.”

Sources say that meeting is planned for Friday, an indication that a change is imminent.

Oxford won a Class 6A state championship in Etheredge’s first season with the program; it was the fifth state title of his coaching career. The Yellow Jackets were knocked out of the playoffs this past season in the quarterfinals. They are 25-3 in his two seasons.

The school is in the process of making major renovations to its football facilities, including artificial turf on the playing surface and a field house that would house an indoor practice facility. Etheredge was excited about the prospects of the project when East Alabama Sports Today reported its approval in August.

There are advantages to making the move to Auburn, however.

“Big school, college town, it’s obviously a big raise,” he said. “It would be a life-changing moment for my family.”

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