E.A. Sports Today

Acting, no more

Pending upcoming board approval, Ohatchee’s Findley set to become Indians’ permanent head football coach

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Chris Findley has been Ohatchee’s acting head football coach since the middle of September, but come the end of this month he won’t be acting any more.

Pending approval at the next county board meeting, Findley will have the “acting” label removed from his title and be installed as the Indians’ permanent head coach.

He was elevated to acting head coach after eighth-year head coach Scott Martin was placed on paid administrative leave hours before Ohatchee’s Sept. 17 Saks game following an incident at the school earlier in the week.

The decision to make Findley permanent came during the holiday break and the recommendation will be presented to the board at its next meeting Jan. 20.

“I’m super excited,” Findley said. “I’ve been at Ohatchee for nine years now and I love it there. We’ve been building it and I’m glad we can keep it going.”

Findley directed the Indians to a 6-2 record during his tenure (9-3 overall) and a berth in the Class 3A playoffs

His first win as a head coach came over eventual state champion Piedmont, which touched off a six-game winning streak that ended in the second round of the playoffs.

“It’s not the way you’d ever imagine it would happen, obviously, but everybody was very, very supportive,” he said. “The whole coaching staff was very supportive, the whole community was very supportive, the administration; once it went down everybody was real supportive and just said go out there and handle it, keep doing what we do.

“It was a tough situation to begin with for everybody, especially that (first) night. We lose that night and that made it tougher, but once we got on the stretch, it built positivity and made things a lot easier to deal with.”

Findley brings a well-rounded background to the job. In his nine years with the Indians he has coached everything except offensive line and running backs. Now as the definitive head coach, nothing will change. He plans to keep the Ugly Eagle offense that has produced 2,751 points and 61 wins over the past six straight playoff seasons supported by a physical defense.

“Our whole thing has been we’re going to do what our kids are going to do,” he said. “I think this still fits our kids.”

After last month’s AHSAA fall sports realignment, the Indians are no longer in a region with all the other Class 3A schools in the county, but their league is no less daunting. Instead of having Saks and Wellborn to battle, the revamped Region 6 has 2021 playoff teams Sylvania, Geraldine and Plainview – and, of course, Piedmont.

But the Indians won’t get far away from their former rivals. Their non-region games the next two years are Saks, Wellborn and Jacksonville.

Cover photo: Ohatchee’s Chris Findley (second from right) watches the action in Monday’s Calhoun County Wrestling Tournament with assistant principal Michael Graham. Findley also is the Indians’ wrestling coach as well as their soon-to-be permanent head football coach.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login