Don Jacobs came home to Scottsboro four years ago because the signs pointed him that way.
Now signs are pointing him in a different direction, and he is following the way.
Jacobs has resigned as Scottsboro head football after four seasons and will become the offensive coordinator at Houston Academy, a Class 3A private school in Dothan.
Jacobs will retire from the Alabama Educational System effective Feb. 1 before starting his duties at Houston Academy on Feb. 8. He said the move allowed he and wife Jodie to be closer to assist her parents, who have had some recent health issues.
Jacobs said Houston Academy head coach Eddie Brundidge contacted him during the Christmas holidays about the program’s offensive coordinator position and things went from there.
“It wasn’t something we’d planned on, but the opportunity came about and things were pointing us that way,” Jacobs said. “Too many things were pointing us that way. I’m a firm believer that there is a rhyme and reason to everything. There was a reason I went to Elkmont. There was a reason I went to Oneonta. There was a reason I came (to Scottsboro). Now there is a reason to go (to Houston Academy).”
Jacobs met with the Scottsboro football team Thursday morning to break the news.
“Some parts of that is difficult,” he said. “You know it’s for the best, but I look around the room and see guys that you’ve accomplished a lot with and know what they’ve been through.”
Jacobs, a former Alabama quarterback and a member of the Jackson County Hall of Fame’s inaugural Class of 2014, said he was “proud” to have been the head coach at his alma mater.
“There was a lot of pride in coming back here,” Jacobs said. “We made a lot of physical changes you can see — facilities, weight room, fields — that will benefit the kids in the long run. Also wanted to make sure I did a good job trying to be a mentor for these kids so they’re successful in life. Coaching is a lot like parenting. You don’t know if you did a good job until 10 or 15 years down the road. When you see a kid succeed in life, you feel good knowing you had a small impact in that.”
Scottsboro went 20-22 during Jacobs’ four-year tenure (2017-20), including a 9-3 mark in 2019 that was Scottsboro’s second most wins in a season in 15 years. The Wildcats finished 2-8 last season, having to forfeit their final two games because of COVID-19 related issues. The 2020 Wildcats team did become just the second Scottsboro team to ever win at North Jackson, defeating the Chiefs 22-6. Jacobs went 3-1 against Scottsboro’s archrival, tied for the most wins for a Scottsboro coach against North Jackson. He recorded his 100th career win while at Scottsboro and led the Wildcats to just their second second-round playoff berth in the past 16 years.
Jacobs has a 107-60 career record. After two decades coaching in college, started his high school head-coaching career in 2007 at Elkmont, going 22-13 with one region title in three seasons before moving on to Oneonta, where he led the Redskins to a 65-25 record with one state championship, two state runner-up finishes and three region titles over seven seasons (2010-16).
Jacobs is a 1977 Scottsboro High School graduate who went to play quarterback and punter for legendary coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant from 1977-80. Jacobs was the Tide’s starting quarterback his senior season, scoring a touchdown on his final play during Alabama’s 30-2 Cotton Bowl win over Baylor.
Jacobs began his coaching career at Jacksonville State (1981-83) before working on the coaching staffs at West Alabama (1984), Louisiana-Lafayette (1985), West Georgia (1986-90) and Troy (1991-2000). He was an assistant coach at Luverne High School before going to Elkmont as head coach in 2007.