JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - After two stints at North Jackson High School, the Mark Rose coaching era is over; Rose took the head coaching job at Russell County and now Chandler Tygard is the next man up to lead the Chiefs in 2019. Tygard comes to North Jackson from Madison Academy where he was the offensive coordinator for the Mustangs.
Tygard and the Chiefs have been hard at work all summer long gearing up for the upcoming season. North Jackson kicks off the 2019 season next Friday night against Plainview, so the Chiefs still have some more preparation time.
Tygard says he's excited about this next step in his coaching career, and he hopes to see big changes during his time at North Jackson.
"We're doing a 180 Xs and Os wise I mean we really couldn't be any more different than what North Jackson's done in the past 5 years than what we're doing now," Tygard said. "We're gonna have a really fun year and they're making really good friends and lifetime relationships and that's ultimately what football's about is the family and fun and football part, so that's kinda what we're trying to preach."
Tygard has quite the hole to fill on his roster after the departure of Lee Witherspoon; Witherspoon, who's now part of the Mississippi State squad, set the AHSAA single-season touchdown record with 53 and touchdowns accounted for with 59 total; not to mention it was his first season playing running back rushing for 2,846 yards on the year.
Tygard didn't coach Witherspoon but he's very aware of the impact that he had on the Chiefs' offense.
"You don't replace somebody that scored 74 touchdowns and broke every record I think in Alabama, so we're kinda doing a running back by committee deal," Tygard said. "We're being a little more balanced, we're spreading the ball around, we're using all 11 people on offense. In fact, we're probably playing 25 different people on offense. So we're just trying to use the whole team and kind of spread it around and maybe we can get the same production but not from one player, from a lot of people instead."
North Jackson's first game will be at Plainview on August 30.