BOE appoints Geohagan interim coach, will not use search committee

The Demopolis City Schools Board of Education officially accepted the resignation of former football coach Tom Causey Friday morning.

Conversely, the BOE appointed current defensive coordinator Matt Geohagan as the interim head football coach and athletic director until such time as a new coach is hired. Geohagan will take the interim role effective Jan. 5.

The board will post the job of football coach, athletic director and physical education teacher for a minimum of 14 days.

“Are we going to form a committee for head coach,” board member Ronnie O’Neal asked during the meeting.

“No sir. I’m going to turn this over to Dr. Speegle,” Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Al Griffin said, noting the intention to allow DHS principal Dr. Tony Speegle to conduct the coaching search on his own.

The board provided further explanation of its reasoning for not utilizing a search committee.

“That is not a recommended practice of the Alabama Association of School Boards. The board is not to be involved in any hire other than the CFO or superintendent,” Board President Jim Stanford said. “We have supreme confidence in our principals.”

Jane Williams, General Counsel and the Director of Legal Advocacy for the Alabama Association of School Boards, confirmed Stanford’s statement regarding the use of search committees in hiring of football coaches.

“Per the board policy, I give a directive on the selection process. Each year I give the principals a directive. When we have an opening, we give a posting for the amount of days,” Griffin said. “The principal will go through applications and will interview accordingly. The principal will make a recommendation to me and I meet with the individual. I have full confidence in our principals that they’ll select the individual that is most qualified and meet the needs of our students in this community. Then I’ll meet with the individual and then take the recommendation to the board.”

Causey left Demopolis and a total annual salary of $91,500 including his teaching and athletic director and football supplements.

“We’ve performed an analysis of competitive school systems, as is common practice and we’re developing a range of salary. The allocation of the supplement of athletic director and head coach, we’re negotiable on,” Griffin said, also noting that a candidate’s experience and education will affect his base salary.