Hudspeth named GS head football coach

Tony Whitehead, GCM Sports
Posted 1/8/21

GULF SHORES, Ala.  –  Mark Hudspeth, former head coach of Louisiana-Lafayette and Austin Peay and associate head coach at Mississippi State, was named head football coach at Gulf …

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Hudspeth named GS head football coach

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GULF SHORES, Ala.  –  Mark Hudspeth, former head coach of Louisiana-Lafayette and Austin Peay and associate head coach at Mississippi State, was named head football coach at Gulf Shores High School, Jan. 8. The Gulf Shores School Board and GSHS administrators made the announcement at a press conference introducing Hudspeth Friday morning on the Gulf Shores High School campus.

“We conducted a national search for a head football coach,” said Gulf Shores City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Matt Akin. “Out of over 100 applicants, Coach Mark Hudspeth rose to the top. His coaching experience and success were unmatched by any of the other applicants. We look forward to seeing our student athletes develop under his leadership.”

Hudspeth comes to Gulf Shores with 26 years of coaching experience at the NCAA FBS, FCS, Division II and high school levels including 15 years as a collegiate head coach. His teams have posted a combined record of 154-64 under his leadership which includes four NCAA FBS bowl wins, four NCAA conference titles, five trips to the NCAA Division II semifinals or quarterfinals, and an appearance in the NCAA FCS quarterfinals. Hudspeth has been voted conference coach of the year three times and earned the American Football Coaches Association regional coach of the year honors in 2003, 2005 and 2019.

“Tyla, my boys, and I are excited to be joining the Gulf Shores Dolphin family,” Hudspeth said. “I am looking forward to leading a team that is a part of a community that we care so much about. Our goal is to develop a program that everyone can be proud of and that develops young men on and off the field. I would like to especially thank Gulf Shores City Schools Superintendent Matt Akin, Principal Cindy Veazey, and the Board of Education for this opportunity. I’m ready to Make Waves.”

The Louisville, (pronounced Lew-is-ville) Mississippi native added that he and his family are no strangers to Baldwin County and Gulf Shores in particular owning property and spending many weekends and summers here for many years.

Hudspeth earned a bachelor’s degree in health and education from Delta State in 1992. A four-year letter winner, he was a starting safety as a junior before moving to starting quarterback in his final season. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Central Arkansas and earned a master’s degree in secondary school administration from UCA in 1993.

Hudspeth is married to the former Tyla McConnell and is the father of four sons: Gunner, Captain, Major and Rocky; and one daughter, Carley.

Kevin Corcoran, School Board President said that when Gulf Shores City Schools formed, the Board established core values to serve as their foundation.

“Our goal is to be excellent in every aspect of the educational experience,” he said. “We understand the vital role that physical development and athletics play in that goal. We are excited to take a major step forward in achieving excellence on the gridiron with the addition of Coach Mark Hudspeth as Head Football Coach. We wish coach and his family the very best as they join the Dolphin family. Make Waves!”

Hudspeth, who coached a group of youth-league players in the fall, added that he was looking forward to seeing more of his own sons' games next season and one day see them play for him as Dolphins at GSHS.

“This position came open and it was like God’s timing,” he said. “Now, I get a chance to coach my own boys one day. And that’s really exciting and I will have a lot more time to get my family involved.”

Before this move and while coaching in college, he said he had only been able to see his older children play a few times.

“The time really helped me put into focus how much I missed the family aspect. I’m excited to have our family dive into every aspect here at Gulf Shores.”

The Hudspeth Coaching File

2019: Austin Peay University (Head Coach)

2018: Mississippi State University (Associate Head Coach/Tight Ends)

2011-17: University of Louisiana (Head Coach)

2009-10: Mississippi State University (Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers)

2002-08: University of North Alabama (Head Coach)

2001: Navy (Offensive Coordinator)

1999-2000: Delta State University (Offensive Coordinator)

1998: University of Central Arkansas (Defensive Backs)

1997-98: Winston Academy HS (Head Coach)

1995: Nicholls State University (Running Backs)

1994: Nicholls State University (Wide Receivers/Tight Ends)

1992-93: University of Central Arkansas (Graduate Assistant)

Championships/Postseason:

2019: Austin Peay University (Ohio Valley Conference Champions, NCAA FBS Quarterfinals)

2018: Mississippi State University (Outback Bowl)

2016: University of Louisiana (New Orleans Bowl)

2014: University of Louisiana (New Orleans Bowl)

2013: University of Louisiana (Sun Belt Conference Champions, New Orleans Bowl)

2012: University of Louisiana (New Orleans Bowl)

2011: University of Louisiana (New Orleans Bowl)

2014: University of Louisiana (New Orleans Bowl)

2010: Mississippi State University (Gator Bowl)

2008: University of North Alabama (NCAA D-II Semifinals)

2007: University of North Alabama (NCAA D-II Quarterfinals)

2006: University of North Alabama (Gulf South Conference Champions, NCAA D-II Quarterfinals)

2005: University of North Alabama (NCAA D-II Semifinals)

2003: University of North Alabama (Gulf South Conference Champions, NCAA D-II Semifinals)

2000: Delta State University (Gulf South Conference Champions; NCAA D-II National Champions)

1998: Winston Academy HS (Region Champions, Mississippi State Champions)

1997: Winston Academy HS (Region Champions)

1993: University of Central Arkansas (AIC Conference Champions, NAIA Semifinals)