Tyler Vann wasn’t looking to leave the Woodville football program after one season as its head coach, but an unexpected opportunity was one he could not pass up.
Vann has been hired as the new head football coach at Sylvania High School. His hiring was approved during Tuesday’s DeKalb County Board of Education meeting.
“I heard the (Sylvania) job may be coming open, and that just stayed in mind,” Vann said. “I know it’s where the Lord wants me because it worked out like it did.”
Vann is 2013 North Sand Mountain alum and former all-state honorable mention quarterback. After assistant coaching stints at NSM, Arab, Scottsboro and Buckhorn, Vann accepted the head-coaching position at Woodville in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic last May. He led the Panthers to a 5-6 record (the five wins tied the single-season school record), including their first winning record in region play as Woodville went 4-2 and finished third in Class 1A Region 7. The Panthers also set a new single-season scoring record (276 points) during the 2020 campaign.
“I’m really going to miss Woodville, the kids, the people, they were great. It was a hard decision because of the kids. They worked for us and did everything we asked of them. We pushed them hard and they stuck with it. We had some injuries in the middle of the year that could’ve just ended it for us, but everyone stuck it out, overcame that and we won three in a row to end the (regular) season. We played Pickens (County) in the playoffs better than a lot of people would’ve thought. That senior class was a bunch of good leaders. They’ll always be special to me. I’m glad my first head coaching job was (at Woodville). It’s a really good place. The next (coach) is getting a group that will work. I hope they have a lot of success.”
Vann takes over a Sylvania program that went 5-6 and reached the first round of the Class 3A playoffs under coach Matt Putnam, who is now the head coach at Madison County.
Sylvania competes in Class 3A Region 7 against Asbury, Brindlee Mountain, Collinsville, Geraldine, Plainview and defending state champion Fyffe.
”I’m really looking forward to competing in that region against the likes of Geraldine and Plainview and the defending state champion (Fyffe), which has one of the best coaches (five-time state champion coach Paul Benefield) to ever do it.”
Vann was scheduled to meet his new players on Friday. “I’m looking forward to getting started,” he said. “I’m excited about the opportunity there.”