Auburn High School has hired a new head football coach with the pedigree to match its championship-driven goals.
In a special-called meeting last Friday, the Auburn City Schools Board of Education approved the hiring of Keith Etheredge as head coach of the Tigers. Etheredge will take over the program from former head coach Adam Winegarden, who left to take the Tuscaloosa County High job in early February.
A 15-year veteran of the high school coaching ranks, Etheredge comes to Auburn from Oxford High, where he coached two years and led the school to the Class 6A state championship in his first season at the helm in 2019.
Before arriving at Oxford in 2019, Etheredge coached one season at T.R. Miller and two years at Pell City. His longest stint leading a program was at Leeds High, where he coached for 10 seasons, leading the Green Wave to four state titles — consecutive 4A championships in 2014 and 2015 and two 3A titles in 2008 and 2010.
Overall, Etheredge has compiled a 150-52 record over 15 seasons, including a 40-12 mark in the playoffs.
Etheredge has also had the honor of being named the Alabama Football Coaches Association 3A Coach of the Year in 2013 and the Alabama Sports Writers Association 6A Coach of the Year in 2019. On the philanthropic side, Etheredge has also been a guest speaker at the Auburn University and University of Alabama Coaching Clinics eight times, the ALFCA Clinic, served as Defensive Coach for Alabama in the Alabama-Mississippi All-star Game in 2010 and 2019 and received an invitation to coach in the U.S. ARMY All-American game.
While Etheredge is excited to join the AHS family, he stated that taking the job will be a task that he is not afraid to take on.
“The difference here is that I’m coming into a program that's winning,” Etheredge said. “Most of the time, you know, I’m coming into a program that has been in some lows and it’s about picking them up and having success.
“The difference here is Auburn’s an established program and I’m just looking forward to continuing and building on that success .”
Etheredge stated that his main objective is building on the relationships with the young Tigers after a smooth transition into the role. “The Superintendent, the Mayor, board members — all those people were great during the process,” Etheredge said, “Auburn just felt like home, like I was where I needed to be.
“Coach Winegarden and the coaching staff did a fantastic job. Whenever you play for a state title in the highest classification, you know that you have great coaching and great kids. We are just looking to build on the relationships with the kids and get it to a point where they expect to be in that game every single year.”
At Auburn, Etheredge takes over a team that lost a last-minute lead late in the game to Thompson in the Class 7A championship game this past December, dashing the hopes of a state title for players and fans.
Under Winegarden, the Tigers won at least 10 games in three of the last four years. They were 12-2 in 2020.