Local son heading to Hoover

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 22, 2007

HOOVER &8212; Seventeen years ago Josh Niblett was throwing the pigskin in a Demopolis Academy Generals&8217; jersey and marching his team toward a state championship. Today he is the new head coach at one of the biggest and most recognizable high school football programs in the state &8212; the Hoover Bucs.

That is because Friday morning the Hoover City School Board voted unanimously to hire Niblett, previously the head football coach at Oxford High School, to replace Rush Propst at scandal-plagued Hoover High School.

Morrison said the last time he spoke with Niblett was after Oneonta High School won a state championship under Niblett&8217;s helm.

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One of Niblett&8217;s main receiving targets in high school, Freddie Webb, isn&8217;t surprised that his former quarterback has landed one of the top prep coaching jobs in the state.

But Webb said the biggest part of Niblett&8217;s success is faith:

Propst praised the hiring of Niblett, described as a committed Christian who leads Bible studies at home and helped convert 35 players to the faith when he was a graduate assistant at Jacksonville State.

Niblett, 35, will earn about $97,000 annually, board member A.W. Bolt said Thursday after the vote.

Propst transformed the Bucs into a state and national powerhouse, but he resigned this fall after months of controversy over program finances, player eligibility, academics and his own personal life.

Niblett&8217;s team won 10 games this year yet had its own problems: Oxford had to forfeit its first seven victories because of an ineligible player. Bolt said the system investigated the rules violations at Oxford before deciding to hire Niblett.

Hoover forfeited four games this season for using an ineligible player.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.