By Maurice Patton
Brian Coleman doesn’t anticipate many secrets along either sideline when Summit takes the field on Week 11.
Alex Melton, who helped the Spartans to the Class 5A state championship in December, has been named to succeed Donnie Webb as head coach at soon-to-be Region 7-6A rival Franklin.
“It’s going to be different,” said Coleman, who has worked for the past seven seasons at Summit with Melton as his defensive coordinator. “We’re used to each other. He’s been a huge part of what we’ve done.
“We’re going to miss him. I’ve always tried to prepare him and let him in on decisions. He’s ready. He’ll do a great job – just hopefully not that week.”
It will be the fourth different Williamson County assignment for Melton, who previously served as an assistant at Centennial and at Brentwood, in addition to stops at Haywood in West Tennessee and at Marshall County.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to compete in one of the best regions in the state because of the level of coaches and players and the excitement in these communities,” said Melton, a Lexington, Tenn., native and a Union University graduate. “I’m excited about coaching here since I live in Franklin. It will be a chance to coach and teach where my family lives.”
In Webb’s last season at the helm, the Admirals finished 7-6 and advanced to the Class 6A state quarterfinals before falling to Brentwood. Their 27-20 Week 4 win over Summit was the Spartans’ last loss en route to the Class 5A state title.
“The history of the program, academically and athletically, and the work Coach Webb has done over the past several years drew me to the job,” Melton said. “Having the opportunity to be in charge of a group of young men and coaches and surrounding them with people who are mentors is something I’m looking forward to as a head coach. I won’t take that responsibility lightly.”
Melton steps into a reconfigured league that features four programs – Brentwood, Summit, Independence and Ravenwood – that have played for or won state championships over the past five years.
“When you look at all the teams in the region, there aren’t a lot of differences between players and coaches,” he said. “It comes down to the expectations of your program as a whole. (We) want to continue to put a good staff together and teach the kids how to respond to victories and defeats.
“The approach has to be the same in what you do every day.”
Centennial and the Admirals will round out Region 7-6A, with Dickson County reassigned to Region 6-6A along with Antioch, Cane Ridge, LaVergne, McGavock, Overton and Smyrna for the 2021 and ’22 seasons.
Over nine seasons at Franklin, Webb led the program to a 59-43 record with seven playoff appearances, including a pair of state quarterfinal berths. He similarly comes from a defensive background, having served as the then-Rebels’ defensive coordinator for six years before taking a similar role at Battle Ground Academy and returning to replace Craig Clayton as head coach.
“We are very excited to welcome Coach Melton and begin a new chapter in Franklin Admiral football,” principal Shane Pantall said. “Coach Melton is highly respected within the coaching community and we have confidence that he will continue to grow the program and engage our athletes and create a winning environment.”
Maurice Patton is the editor of SM-Tn Sports. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MoPatton_Sports.