Sullivan takes head coach spot at Citronelle

Published 11:34 pm Friday, April 24, 2009

Citronelle High School reportedly will fill its head football coaching vacancy when its board of education votes to officially hire Demopolis assistant Jeremy Sullivan.

A Leroy native and Jacksonville State alum, Sullivan spent the 2008 season his only with the program as the Tigers’ offensive line coach.

“There is no doubt he is one of the best O-Line guys I’ve ever worked with,” DHS head coach Tom Causey said of Sullivan. “Not only that, he is a heck of a man. He comes from a good family. He is very, very intelligent. He’ll be a great influence on those kids.”

Sullivan’s move fills a vacancy that was created when former CHS head coach Eddie Stephenson accepted a position at Pike County High School.

“The opportunity came along at a time for me and my family when I felt like I was ready for it. I felt like it was too good to pass up,” Sullivan, who played under Stephenson at Jacksonville State, said of his first head coaching opportunity. “They’ve done a good job down there. I think we have to go down there and bring some new ideas, but still build on what they’re already doing.”

The opportunity came as a surprise to both Sullivan and Causey.

“I planned on being in Demopolis as long as I could be there,” Sullivan said. “I think Demopolis is a great place. Everybody in Demopolis has been so great to me and my family. Coach Causey is definitely the best guy that I’ve ever worked for. If I can do half the job he does, I’ll be doing a good job.”

Sullivan credited his brief time working under Causey with helping to prepare him for this opportunity.

“I picked up a lot of things,” Sullivan said. “I think most importantly is trying to win the right way and reaching those players in every way you can, mentally, physically and spiritually.”

Causey credits Sullivan with playing an important role in a 2008 season that saw the Tigers seconds away from a semi-final playoff berth.

“He brought an intensity to our team,” Causey said of Sullivan. “I think he gave the offensive linemen an identity. He taught them not only who they were, but how important they are to our football team. At that position, it isn’t all about size and strength, it’s about technique and work ethic.”

Sullivan’s shift makes him the second Demopolis assistant in as many years to accept a head coaching job elsewhere. Former defensive coordinator Brian Seymour took the head coaching job with Andalusia in 2008.

“This is a credit to our program,” Causey said. “In the last two years we’ve had our ups and downs. But we’ve had two guys go on to be head coaches. Every one of these young guys we’ve got right now are going to be head coaches.”

Causey said the direction the program goes with its search to find a replacement for Sullivan has yet to be determined.

“We’ll start putting some feelers out now,” Causey said. “But obviously we won’t do anything until everything is official and our board posts (the vacancy).”