Spanish Fort Offensive Coordinator Matt Blake has been named as the new head football coach at Gulf Shores High School. The position became available when Rick Cauley resigned earlier in the month and took a job as assistant head coach at Satsuma before ever coaching a game. The 40 year old Blake will also serve as athletic director at Gulf Shores.
Blake served on the staff of Spanish Fort Head Coach Ben Blackmon during Blackmon’s tenure with the Dolphins from 2011-2014. He then followed Blackmon to Spanish Fort. Blake has coached in Florida and Georgia as well as stints as assistant coach at Prattville and Hillcrest Evergreen. He was the head coach at Monroe County High School in Monroeville for one season on 2010. Blake played his high school football for Hall of Fame coach Spence McCracken at Robert E. Lee High school in Montgomery.
“It’s a great day,” Blake said on al.com. “I spent four years there. My family was entrenched in the community. All of my family – my sister, my brother, my parents – are transplanted into Baldwin County. I formed some meaningful relationships in four years there with the faculty and staff and the players and parents. I am looking forward to getting back.”
However, the task in front of him is more than challenging. Time is short as AHSAA practice begins Monday, August 7th. The Dolphins were 1-19 over the past two seasons and have now had four head coaches since 2014. Gulf Shores competes in 6A Region 1.
“Right now the most pressing issue is getting with the staff and getting an understanding of what they are doing,” he said. “I can’t come in and ask them to learn a bunch of new things right now. I have to get on the same page. It’s a lot easier for me to adjust to what they are doing than for everyone to adjust to my schemes at this point. Eventually, I will implement some things into terminology they are already using.”
Spanish Fort’s Ben Blackmon said on al.com that Blake was an extremely loyal person. “He builds relationships with kids in an unbelievable way. We’ll miss him at Spanish Fort. I appreciate everything he has done for us and for me. Our kids love him.”
Gulf Shores opens the season August 25th at Mountain Brook.