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EA, Coach Brandon Wilcox part ways


News Staff Writer

Escambia Academy officials haven’t said why they made such a change after only three games, but they confirmed Monday (September 19) that Brandon Wilcox, hired in May to replace Hugh Fountain as head football coach and athletic director, had been relieved of his duties.
Powerhouse Sports broke the news on its Twitter page early Monday afternoon, stating that the independent school powerhouse and its first-year coach “have mutually agreed to part ways.”
A post on EA’s Facebook page confirmed the parting of the ways but offered no explanation for the decision.
“Escambia Academy can confirm that Coach Brandon Wilcox is no longer a part of the EA program,” reads the post. “As this is an ongoing process, we cannot comment further at this time.”
No announcement was made Monday, and none has been forthcoming, as to who will assume Wilcox’s coaching duties. The team is scheduled to host Valiant Cross Academy this Friday.
EA has two fulltime assistant coaches — Gex Billups and Malcolm Hawthorne — and one of the two is expected to assume the interim coaching role. Speculation is that Billups and Hawthorne might share the head coaching job over the remainder of the season.
The Cougars, a perennial playoff participant that have appeared in the Alabama Independent School Athletic Association state championship game each of the past six years, is currently in last place in Class AA, Region 2 standings. The team dropped its first three games this season, falling to Clarke Prep on the road, then losing at home to Banks Academy and Jackson Academy.
Attempts to reach Wilcox by phone for comment on the matter were unsuccessful. A call to the number provided by the coach to local media resulted in a message that the number had been “changed, disconnected or is no longer in service.” Wilcox’s Facebook page cover photo, in which he wore an EA polo shirt, had also been changed by Monday afternoon.
Wilcox played high school football at T.R. Miller and coached one year at W.S. Neal High in Brewton before taking the EA job. His injury plagued Neal team suffered through an 0-10 season in rugged Class 4A, Region 1.

Prior to that, he coached Marion County to the state semifinals, and his Montevallo High team was region runner-up three of his four years there.

News staff member Ditto Gorme contributed to this article.