North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Local Sports

March 1, 2013

Matt Plunkett hired as new Gardendale football coach; Richie Busby promoted to top spot at Fultondale

Two local schools filled their head coaching positions Thursday.

Gardendale High has hired Matt Plunkett, currently the offensive coordinator and O-line coach at Magnolia West High School in Magnolia, Texas (between Houston and College Station). Plunkett is a native of Arab, and played was a walk-on wide receiver at North Alabama. He later went to the University of Alabama and was a student assistant for the Crimson Tide.

Plunkett has experience in the small-college ranks at Missouri Southern, Carson-Newman and Pittsburg State.

"He's very energetic, and has a great résumé," GHS Assistant Principal Shelton Dukes said.

This will be Plunkett's first head coaching job. He replaces Chris Fancher, who resigned in January.

Plunkett's official arrival date isn't set yet, but he will be on campus in time for summer workouts, Dukes said.

Fultondale stayed much closer to home, moving offensive coordinator Richie Busby up to the top spot. Busby has been with the Wildcats for 13 years, and has served as head boys basketball coach as well for the last four years; before that, he coached the girls' team for nine.

Busby replaces Keith Register, who left the Wildcats to take the open position at Hayden, where he takes over for the departed Steve Kerby.

The two new hires leaves only one of the five local open head coaching positions still to be filled. Mortimer Jordan has not yet winnowed through the field of applicants to replace the retiring Greg Watts. Locust Fork named Chris Musso as their new head coach in February. He moves over from John Carroll Catholic, and replaces Mike Bramblett, who left to return to Hoover as an assistant.

We'll have more later on this developing story.

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