Austin High broke from its tradition and went outside the system to hire the school’s sixth head basketball coach.
A unanimous school board voted today to employ Major Deacon as the Black Bears’ new head man. He replaces Jake Miles, who resigned to accept a position teaching Advanced Placement economics with Hartselle City Schools.
Austin’s head basketball coaches have historically come from within.
Miles, a 1996 Austin graduate and grandson of Black Bears coaching legend Joe Jones, was an assistant coach when he replaced Demond Garth in 2013. Garth moved from being an assistant to head coach and so did his predecessors, Bob Harpe and Stuart Allen.
Jones, who previously coached at the old Austinville High, was the Black Bears’ first head basketball coach.
Deacon, a former college basketball player and Division I coach at Northwestern State University one season, comes to Austin from Thompson High where he worked last year as an assistant basketball coach.
He has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of South Alabama and master’s degree from Northwestern State University.
Austin Principal Melissa Scott said Deacon was selected from more than 50 applicants.
“The program is in good shape,” she said. “We have a lot of good players returning.”
Deacon is unassigned as a teacher, but will likely teach physical education, Superintendent Michael Douglas said.
Chief Financial Officer Melanie Maples said the district has not received verification of Deacon’s years of experience and has not placed him on a salary schedule as a teacher. His basketball supplement package will be $5,750 plus an additional 40 days of pay as a teacher.
The salary range for a 187-day employee with a master’s degree is between $47,074 and $65,168.