Wade Waldrop will be the new head football coach at Hoover High School approved by the Hoover Board of Education Thursday night. Waldrop has coaching stops at 6A Chelsea, 7A, James Clemens and his last stop 7A Florence.
The former Florence coach has been a head coach since 2006 and was 5-6 with the Falcons along with a first round loss to Thompson last season. Waldrop is ready to get started with the Bucs. "I'm here because this is Hoover," said Waldrop. "We are excited, humbled and greatful for the opportunity. You can go anywhere in America and say Alabama High School Football, they are going to say Hoover football. This is a great honor to be part of and to lead this program."
Waldrop has an overall coaching record of 100-75 and has been to the post season four times with Chelsea, eight seasons with the Jets and last year with Florence. Waldrop is known for a program builder as he has in those three stops, but that isn't the case with Hoover as they expect the playoffs each season.
"This is totally different, the challenge is different," added Waldrop. "All those previous places were great places, unique places and they were at different stages than this program is in. We want to excell in those areas and want to continue to excel in, but we need to find the areas the we were struggling in and grow those areas. We are looking for the different challenges."
Waldrop wanted to build something special at Florence but couldn't pass up this opportunity. "Florence has some great people in that community," said Waldrop. "We felt led to go to Florence. We loved our time in Madison and Florence has some special people that will be hard to leave. The kids and parents that suppprt the program are fantastic along with the administration. Our time there will be treasured. God put us their for a reason."
Waldrop knows what will be important to Hoover in the next few weeks. "We need to build relationships with those players and families," said Waldrop. "To give them a sence of who I am. I just did this a year ago. We really want to know these players and coaches moving forward. Get involved with teachers and this special community."
Athletic Director Andy Urban said around 20 coaches were interviewed for the job, but finding the right one for Hoover was the key with the right intangibles. "Character, hard work and we wanted our kids to love the guy and form a great relationship with our players," said Urban. "His personality, he is relationship driven and that was a big factor on choosing Wade. Community is very important to us at Hoover and I knew him talking to us about relationships was the key to becoming a successful coach on and off the field and that really set well with us."
In December, Josh Niblett retired from Hoover, then took a head coaching position at Gainesville High in Georgia. Niblet led the Bucs for 14 seasons with six state championships. Niblett had a 171-26 record with the Bucs.
Currently, Hoover has a spring game with Gadsden City in late May, but that could change in the upcoming weeks. Hoover will start the season in Montgomery against Auburn on Friday, August 19 at the Cramton Bowl.