As name recognition and an impressive resume go, Scottsboro High School may have found the coach to turn its football fortunes around.
Former Auburn University quarterback Patrick Nix, who has worked as the offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech (2004-06) and Miami (2007-08), has been hired to take over the Wildcats program that has struggled through recent years.
"We're very excited mainly because he chose us," Scottsboro principal and athletic director Kathy Hughes said. "He contacted us, came and toured the facilities and liked the school and the town and said he was looking for a place where he could settle in and raise his family.
"I think he was ready to not have to travel as much anymore and to be able to put down roots, so we couldn't be happier that he chose to come here to do that."
Nix, 40, will be making his high school coaching debut after working for 10 years at the collegiate level, including the last three seasons as offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator at Charleston Southern. Previously he was an assistant at Jacksonville State and Samford and was the head coach at Henderson State (Ark.) for two seasons.
He played in high school at Etowah, Ala., and was a two-year starter at Auburn, throwing for more than 4,900 yards before graduating in 1995. His father, Conrad, was a longtime prep coach in Alabama and Georgia, winning more than 300 games.
Nix's wife, Krista, is from Dalton, and his mother-in-law lives in Chattanooga. Nix, who has four children, said the chance to coach his two sons (ages 12 and 9 now) was a big part of his decision.
"My four kids are what drew me to the high school game," Nix told Al.com. "Being the son of a high school coach, with my dad coaching me, once I had boys and as they grew, I absolutely loved being around them and loved coaching their teams.
"I knew several years ago that this was definitely the direction that I could see myself going and wanted to go. For the past couple of years, I've been looking for the right fit, and I believe this is a very good fit for me and my family."
Nix replaces Swane Morris, who resigned shortly after last season. He was 5-25 in three seasons with the Wildcats.