Hoover to Rocky Top: Todd Watson

Hoover to Rocky Top: Todd Watson

Football

Hoover to Rocky Top: Todd Watson

“When I first walked in and they were all together, it was like a flashback – I felt like I was back at Hoover High. You had Jeremy’s office, you had Myra’s, then Brandon’s, Todd’s, Kevin’s all right there. It was the whole Hoover deal which makes me proud and they all deserve it. Every single one of them deserve to be where they are because of what they have done. They have all been successful in so many different ways. Hoover was just part of that chapter, it wasn’t the final chapter.” — Rush Propst

Part 1 Hoover to Rocky Top: Myra Miles
Part 2 Hoover to Rocky Top: Brandon Sheppard

KNOXVILLE — As the 2018 season approaches with the Vols taking the practice field August 3, kicking off fall training camp, Vols Wire takes a look at the former Hoover High School coaches and staff that are now at Tennessee for the Jeremy Pruitt era – Jeremy Pruitt, Kevin Sherrer, Todd Watson, Brandon Sheppard and Myra Miles. Danny Stiff is also on staff at UT as Assistant Director of Player Personnel and played at Hoover, winning three state championships from 2002-04.

The third part of the Hoover to Rocky Top series features Todd Watson. Watson is Director of Football Operations at Tennessee.

Most recently Watson was Director of Operations and High School Relations for Troy from 2015-17.

Before his time at Troy, Watson was a successful high school coach in Alabama, going 80-36 in 10 seasons as the head coach of Foley High School.

Watson served as defensive coordinator at Hoover High School for Rush Propst before taking the Foley head coaching job. His history with Propst dates back before Hoover.

Before joining Propst at Hoover from 2000-04, helping the Buccaneers to a 70-4 record and winning four Alabama state championships, Watson worked under Propst at Alba High School in 1997 and in 1998 at Alma Bryant.

In 1997, Alba was one year away from consolidating with Grand Bay High School to form Alma Bryant High School in Mobile County. Propst took over at Alba as head coach for the final season before the new school was formed. Watson was on his staff the final season at Alba and the first season at Alma Bryant.

“I hired Todd back in 1997 at Alba High School,” Propst told Vols Wire. “We were in part of a consolidation of Alba and Grand Bay. It is still one of the most remarkable stories in Alabama high school football because you had two suppressed areas that had been on hard times trying to win football games and we put the team together.”

As Propst took over as head coach for Alba and knowing the formation of Alma Bryant was on the horizon, he evaluated personnel and realized Watson was someone that he wanted on his staff.

“When I first got there, the first day Todd Watson was outside trimming hedges around the field house,” Propst said. “I didn’t know Todd and I talked to the principal when they hired me and we talked about evaluation of the staff.

“I had full control to release or keep whoever I wanted from both schools because we were building a 6A school for 1998 season. Todd made a good impression on me. He was organizational and was familiar with our defensive scheme. I brought a different defensive style to Mobile and he took the tapes, playbooks and we were one of the first teams to be in multiple fronts defensively.”

Propst and Watson started the inaugural 1998 season at Alma Bryant with seven straight shutouts and lost in the third round of the playoffs to Vigor, 21-14.

“From there I went to Hoover in 1999 and Todd stayed back for one year at Alma Bryant, and I brought Todd to Hoover the year after,” Propst said. “He was with me at Hoover from 2000-04, so he was with me for a total of seven years. He became the defensive coordinator in 2002, he was a position coach and special teams coordinator from 2000-01. He was part of four state championships at Hoover of the five that we won there.”

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