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Mark Heaton is new J.U. Blacksher football coach

URIAH &8212; Northview High School offensive coordinator Mark Heaton has been working double duty the past couple of weeks.

Heaton, 30, who was recently hired as head football coach at J.U. Blacksher High School, has been performing his duties as teacher and coach with the Chiefs and also performing spring training with the Bulldogs.

Heaton contributed his success on the gridiron to current Northview head coach Cody Keene, who also served as his football coach at Demopolis High School.

The Monroe County Board of Education interviewed 28 applicants for the J.U. Blacksher job in April. The search was narrowed to three finalistS, who each interviewed a second time. Heaton said he accepted the offer on the spot.

Heaton will take over the reigns from Greg Shehan who coached the Bulldogs for three years and led them to the AHSAA state playoffs each season. Despite the school&8217;s success, Heaton does plan on making some changes.

Heaton&8217;s coaching career began at Muscle Shoals High School where he spent one year as a student-teacher. He then joined Keene on the sideline at Oglethorpe County High School in Crawford, Ga. where he coached for two years before taking the offensive coordinator&8217;s job at Northview where he has been for four years.

Heaton is a 1997 graduate of Demopolis High School where he played quarterback and punter. He also played for the University of West Alabama where he graduated with a bachelor&8217;s degree in physical education in 2001.

Heaton and his wife, Betty, have two daughters, Jae and Payton.