Glover, Carr adapting to new surroundings
By Tim Gayle
PRATTVILLE – The mother approaches the Autauga Academy coaching staff, the parent of a transfer that played for former Edgewood Academy coach Bobby Carr. She has the paperwork to complete her son’s transfer and brings it to Carr.
There’s one problem. Carr isn’t the head coach at Autauga. He was hired as a volunteer offensive coordinator in July by new coach Kyle Glover.
If the presence of two successful former head coaches on the same staff is a problem, neither coach will admit it. While they are several years apart, they grew up as friends in Prattville before Carr’s family eventually moved to Millbrook where he became the starting quarterback at Stanhope Elmore.
“He knows I won’t be here long, I think everybody knows that,” Carr said. “But it’s an opportunity to continue to coach the game I love, be with my kid and hopefully be able to bring these kids something they’ve never experienced because we definitely have the talent.”
Carr left Edgewood at the end of the school year, walking away from six consecutive state titles and a national-best 71-game winning streak. Part of the settlement reached between the two parties prevents either side from addressing the controversy but reportedly includes some type of financial agreement to support Carr while he attends Faulkner University to finish up a degree in business and obtain his teaching certificate.
Carr had several coaching offers, most notably from South Alabama head coach Joey Jones (who had the same issues with a lack of a teaching certificate early in his coaching career), but wanted to remain as either a coordinator or head coach where he could coach his son Tripp, a sophomore quarterback now at Autauga.
“My kid is my first priority and my second priority is my education,” Carr said. “Just being the OC and not having to coach baseball, I’m a full-time student and I can finish up what I should have finished up years ago.”
Glover called his old friend a day after Jones, offering him a job. Glover, forced out at Marbury High six years ago, recalls how no one was around to offer him a job after his own personal controversy.
“This is an opportunity for me to be around a friend of mine that has had immeasurable success and be able to add that (coaching knowledge) to what I may do in the future,” Glover said. “I don’t want this to sound corny, but being able to extend a hand to a guy who was down and needed somewhere to turn was a lot of my motivation.”
Most analysts would consider Glover’s hire a risky one. A volunteer who spends the day working at his advertising business before coming to the campus in the afternoon just hired another volunteer who has been one of the most successful coaches in the history of the Alabama Independent School Association.
“I’ve been in this a long time and I promise you this is not about me,” Glover said. “When I came here, I looked at these 10 or 12 seniors that were here and I told them there was a day and time we would have come here and put our system in and kind of thrown this season away in order to build a base for the future.
“But I made them a promise I was going to do everything in my power to see that they finish this senior season the way they were due. When I had the opportunity to bring Bobby on, it was a no-brainer and I’m intelligent enough to understand there were risks for me in that. But I did it because, number one, Bobby’s a friend and, number two, it makes this team and this school better.”
As far as an offensive scheme, Carr said he plans “to do what we’ve always done” and the addition of 23 student-athletes since Glover was named the head coach in May appears to give the Generals plenty of weapons as they drop from Class AAA to AA after reaching the AAA playoff semifinals a year ago.
The Generals open the 2016 season on the road at Tuscaloosa Academy on Aug. 26, renewing a first-round playoff battle that went to the wire before Autauga won. The next week, the Generals return home for the 2016 home opener on Thursday, Sept. 1, against Edgewood.
“It’s tough because of the kids that are still there,” Carr said. “To be at a place for 15 years, I held on because I love those boys so much. Most coaches go home to their families after practices or games. I go home to no one unless my son is with me, so I made those boys my family for 15 years. I would always tell myself, ‘I can’t leave this group’ or ‘I’ve got this group coming.’ Those kids are there and they’re like my family.
“Their coach (Eric Folmar) played for me and lived with me a little while when he was in high school. I know he’s going through some tough times but they’ve hired a good guy and if he can weather the storm with the change and focus on the young kids, they’re going to be all right.”