JASPER — Hamilton County has its new football coach and didn’t have to go far to find him.

Kirkland Mitchell, a former Hamilton County assistant, was announced as the Trojans’ new head coach Monday by Rex Mitchell, the superintendent of Hamilton County Schools, and Hamilton County High Principal Donnie Harrison.

Mitchell, a former Hamilton County player, began his coaching career as defensive backs coach at HCHS in 2012 and has coached at Madison County the past three years, including serving as defensive coordinator in 2018 and 2019.

“I am excited to return home,” Kirkland Mitchell said. “This is my dream job and I have wanted it since I was in the 11th grade and wanted to become a coach.

“I am thankful for this opportunity and for the people who have supported me. I look forward to a resurgence in our program and can’t wait to get started.”

At Madison County, Mitchell helped the Cowboys win three straight state championships. MCHS allowed 17.3 points per game last year on the way to a 12-2 mark, including four shutouts. In 2018, when the Cowboys went 13-1 in winning state, they allowed just 10.9 points per game with three shutouts.

Overall, Mitchell has coached in four state championship games, helping win three titles.

“We are very excited to welcome Coach Mitchell back into the Trojan family,” Rex Mitchell said in a statement. “It is always encouraging to see a young man who grew up around the program, played for the school, and has served as an assistant coach return home to lead the program.

“Coach Mitchell not only brings a wealth of football knowledge but is also a wonderful classroom teacher who is student centered and will work to put our students in the best position to succeed.”

Harrison added: “We are excited about what Coach Mitchell brings to the table, not only as a football coach, but as an individual to lead our young men. He is passionate about his work on the field and in the classroom and to have a coach of his caliber want this job is an opportunity that we could not pass up. We are eager to get him started and hope that the Hamilton County community will join us in supporting him and our athletes as we continue to grow our program.”

Mitchell becomes the Trojans’ fifth head coach the past four years. Hamilton County is coming off three straight one-win seasons.

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