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Rashad Milligan | Times-News family man: Beulah head football coach Cody Flournoy escorts his daughter on the field during halftime last season. Flournoy was hired by the Bobcats two years ago for his first head coaching job.

Beulah football coach Flournoy accepts AD, head coaching position at Jackson

BEULAH — After leading the Beulah football team to the largest turnaround in the Greater Valley Area and the program’s best regular season in 23 years in 2018, Cody Flournoy has accepted an athletic director and coaching position at Jackson High School in Jackson, Alabama.

“I want all the people to know that Beulah’s a special place, and they loved me every step through,” Flournoy said. “The second part is for me and my family going to Jackson. Jackson  is a place that has a winning tradition, they go to the playoffs every year and we’re going to add to what they’ve got going down there.”

After the news began to surface publicly on Friday afternoon, Flournoy called all of his players into the gym for one last meeting.

“For me, it was awesome because these were guys that I poured into and built relationships with,” Flournoy said of the meeting. “It was also one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done, but they received it, they were men about it and a lot of them came up, shook my hand and  wished me luck.”

Flournoy took over at Beulah in 2017 after serving as a longtime assistant coach in East Alabama. Beulah was the first program that he became a head coach with. After winning the first game of the season 35-6 over Spring Garden in 2017 and receiving a cold water shower from his players on the sideline, the Bobcats only won one more game that season. 

The 2-8 season marked a decade since the last time Beulah made the playoffs.

In 2018, Beulah was led on offense by senior dual-threat quarterback Lonzie Portis, who was injured for the majority of his junior season, in addition to breakout back Chris Person.

Beulah won the season-opener over Loachapoka. Then Beulah won again, and again, and again to start off the year 5-0. The undefeated start was one of Flournoy’s favorite memories at Beulah, he said.

With more eyes on the program than before in the last decade, Beulah returned from an open to the first loss of the season, but the Bobcats still finished with a winning record after the open week. The 8-2 finish was good enough to host the school’s first home football playoff game since 1995.

Flournoy received the 3A Coach of the Year award from the Alabama Football Coaches Association (ALFCA) after being nominated by Valley head football coach Buster Daniel.

“It will forever be a special place for me, and that’s what’s so bittersweet about it,” Flournoy said. “I’ve got a great opportunity in front of me, and I’m leaving a place where I still feel like is a good place. I told [Beulah athletic director Richard Brown] that we have some guys on staff who can keep doing what we’ve built there already. Hopefully, this opens some opportunities for those guys on that staff.”

Flournoy said that he was unsure if any of his assistants would take the three-and-a-half hour trip to coach with him at Jackson because most of his assistants have lived and coached in East Alabama their entire careers. 

Flournoy also served as the head coach of Beulah’s junior varsity softball team this spring. The Lady Bobcats’ season ended earlier this week. He also attended senior defensive end Isaiah Glidewell’s college signing ceremony earlier in the week. Jackson offered Flournoy the position last week, but the coach said that he wanted to take some time before ultimately accepting the offer at the 5A school.

After a Board of Education meeting on April 18, Flournoy and his wife will officially be allowed to work in the Clarke County school system.

Flournoy will replace veteran head football coach Danny Powell, who has won five AHSAA state championships in his career. 

Powell stepped down from his position at Jackson due to health concerns, and he will coach at a smaller school in Clarke Prep in the AISA in 2019.

Beulah will have its fourth different head football coach in the since 2012 during the first game next season.