MONTGOMERY – Piedmont High School head football coach Steve Smith will be the head coach for the Alabama All-Star football squad for the 31st annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game next December. The game will be played at Hattiesburg on the University of Southern Mississippi campus for just the second time in the game’s storied history.
AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese made the announcement at the District 6 meeting Monday night held at Jacksonville State University’s Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium.
Smith replaces former Opelika High School Coach Brian Blackmon, who stepped down as head coach for the 2017 game after resigning at Opelika and accepting a position with Auburn University’s athletic department as a football analyst last month. Blackmon was announced as head coach in late January.
“I am very honored and humbled,” Smith said. “I really enjoyed my two times in the game as an assistant coach. I am looking forward to this opportunity.”
Smith served as an assistant coach in last year’s game, a 25-14 win over Mississippi at Cramton Bowl and in the 2009 all-star game played at Mobile. Alabama holds a 22-8 edge in the series which began in 1988. However, Mississippi is 1-0 in games played in Mississippi. The All-Star Classic between the two states started a home-and-home rotation in 2015. The first 28 games were played in Alabama.
UMS-Wright’s Terry Curtis was Alabama head coach in 2016. The 2017 game is set for Saturday, Dec. 16.
Smith, was an All-State quarterback graduating in 1987 from Cherokee County High School. He played at Jacksonville State University from 1988-91 and served as a graduate assistant coach on JSU’s 1992 national championship team. He became the head coach at Cedar Bluff High School in 1995 and compiled an 85-45 record over the next 11 seasons. He moved to Piedmont in 2006. His teams won 3A state championships in 2009, 2015 and 2016 — finishing last season with a 25-game winning streak, the longest current football winning streak in the AHSAA.
His Piedmont teams have compiled a 123-23 record overall, including 28-8 in 11 playoff appearances and 71-7 in region games. His teams have gone undefeated or suffered just one loss in region play every season since 2007.
He will be coaching in his third Alabama-Mississippi all-star game. He first coached in 2009 and again last year.
“Coach Smith is one of our state’s most outstanding head coaches,” said Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
The rest of the Alabama All-Star staff for next December’s game will be announced in the near future, Briggs said. The AHSADCA, in conjunction with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) administers the all-star game each year.