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franklin county times

Hill, Copeland resign at PCHS

 Former Bobcats head football coach Jason Hill works with his team in a drill during practice in the summer of 2012, shortly after he was hired at Phil Campbell High School.
Former Bobcats head football coach Jason Hill works with his team in a drill during practice in the summer of 2012, shortly after he was hired at Phil Campbell High School.

PHIL CAMPBELL — The Franklin County Board of Education always finds itself busy during the summer months.

Different faculty and staff jobs must be vacated or filled during these months, and new personnel must be hired before the start of the next school year.

This week the Franklin County BOE found itself much busier than last week, as four different positions were vacated at Phil Campbell High School.

Two of these positions are head coaching jobs, as head football coach Jason Hill and head boys’ basketball coach Will Copeland have tendered their resignations to take positions elsewhere.

Hill has only been the head football coach for one year, as he took over the job after Bo Culver stepped down in the summer of 2012.

“He called me Tuesday and told me he had been hired elsewhere,” said Franklin County Superintendent Gary Williams.

“I failed to ask him where, but I know it’s somewhere in Birmingham.

“I talked with him, but I failed to ask him where he was going.”

Hill’s sudden departure after only two summers and one season with Phil Campbell comes as a bit of a surprise to the veteran administrator.

“I wasn’t expecting it,” Williams said.

“Coaches move on from time to time, and that’s just something we have to deal with.

“We hate to lose Coach Hill. He was doing a good job, he’s a good person and a good role model for the students, and so we sure hate to lose him.

“I understand the reasons he gave me for why he is leaving.

“It was due to some family situations that he had.”

Copeland has been head boys’ basketball coach at Phil Campbell High School for a few seasons now, and he had the arduous task of coaching the program through the destruction of the high school in April of 2011.

Since then the Bobcats have been without a gymnasium, so home games had to be moved to the gym at Northwest-Shoals in Phil Campbell, while practice time was nearly impossible to find.

The Bobcats used several different gyms to practice in when playing on the road, with most of these locations being the location of the next away game on the schedule.

“I had been hearing a little bit through the grapevine during the past week,” Williams said.

“The rumor got started towards the first of this week, and I had some people asking me if he was leaving.

“I called the principal (Cindy Davis) to see what she knew, and then he called me.

“He called me Wednesday afternoon and told me.

“He didn’t want to say much until it was official in Sylacauga, and I haven’t heard much else officially.”

Several sources close to the boys’ basketball program confirmed that Copeland had resigned and would be coaching at Sylacauga during the upcoming season.

Neither Coach Hill nor Coach Copeland could be reached for comment before press time Friday.

Williams and the BOE also find themselves having to fill the void left by Trey George’s departure, an assistant baseball coach under head coach Jonathan Raper at Phil Campbell.

Tracy Pace, the bookkeeper, has also resigned from PCHS.

“It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks,” Williams said.

“We have to post the jobs for 14 days, then we’ll have the principal do some interviews, and we’ll make a decision on who to put in place.

“We have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us.

“It’s very busy in the summertime for us, but this is kind of unusual.

“We are hiring two new head coaches and an assistant coach at the same school.

“At the same time the bookkeeper is resigning there.

“We will be busy over the next couple of weeks filling the positions at Phil Campbell.”

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