Chris Littleton is excited about heading a talented program, but he’s also just as excited about going home to mama.
Littleton, who served as Ashford High’s head football coach the past two years, was hired Tuesday as the new head football coach and athletics director at Florala High School.
Although Littleton grew up in Chilton County, his mother moved to Florala several years ago.
“Even though I’m not from that area, my mom lives just a few miles from that school,” Littlefield said. “So it’s an opportunity to go home to mama, I guess you could say.”
It was a quick turnaround for Florala, which lost head coach Toby Greene to Headland High in late April.
Class 1A Florala was 7-4 last season and returns a lot of talent.
Littleton runs the same type offense as Greene did, thus the transition should be rather seamless.
“Toby and I have run similar stuff for years when I was at Samson and he was at Cottonwood and we went against each other,” said Littleton, who coached three years at Samson before leaving for Ashford. “It was like I was looking in the mirror. And then we both moved even more in the spread type direction over the last two years, so we still are staying very similar in what we do.
“It’s kind of an up-tempo, quick-passing game. The biggest part of it, whether it’s run or pass, is getting the ball in a lot of different athletes that can make the right plays.”
Florala principal Max Whittaker believes Littleton will be the perfect fit.
“I think the biggest thing with coach Littleton is he’s a high-character person, and obviously that’s one of the major things I was looking for here,” Whittaker said.
“From a football standpoint offensively, he runs a similar scheme to what we have run here the last three years, which I think is really suited to our personnel. We’ve got a good group of skill players, so I wanted to make sure I hired someone who would come in and run similar schemes that we have in the last three years. We’ve had a lot of success with that.
“And I wanted someone with experience, because we’ve got a solid group this year and I want to give them the best opportunity to be successful as I could. I think coach Littleton brings a lot of experience and knowledge to the program.”
Whittaker said he narrowed the applicants down to five finalists before doing interviews. He made his decision over the weekend and it was approved during the Covington County Board of Education meeting on Tuesday. Littleton is also expected to teach history and possibly a math class.
Ashford went 4-6 during Littleton’s first year and struggled to a 2-8 mark last year. Still, Littleton believes the program is in good shape moving forward.
“We’re leaving a good situation here for somebody,” Littleton said. “We had a down year this past season, but we had a lot of good young talent at Ashford. It was definitely difficult to leave.
“It’s kind of a mixed emotion. It’s an easy decision to go to Florala because it’s a great place and it’s going home to be close to my mom and some great people. But at the same time it’s a difficult decision to leave here, because there are a lot of good people here who have been really supportive.
“The difficult thing with this (coronavirus) going on is I didn’t have a chance to meet with my players from here. I’ve tried to call as many as I could — players and parents. We’re excited about Florala, but man we’re going to miss the people in Ashford.”