After 23 years as a football coach at Collinwood including the last 13 years as head football coach, Mike Statom is leaving the small Wayne County school.
Statom is headed across the border to Deshler high school and will join friend Jake Linville's staff at the Alabama power.
He will be the head middle school coach at Deshler and an assistant on Linville's staff.
"This is a very bittersweet decision that my wife and I prayed about,"
"I couldn't ask for a better community that supports their team like Collinwood but we felt like God was opening their door for us for a reason."
Statom took over the program at Collinwood in 2001 and complied a 97-61 record and led the Trojans to nine Class 1A playoff appearances (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012).
The Trojans are coming off a injury filled 2-8 season in 2013.
"I'm happy for Mike," Collinwood Athletic Director Brian Crews said. "He has transformed our football program and he has done so much not just for our school but for the school system."
"I can't blame him for leaving because it's a great opportunity for his family and we wish him the best."
Besides his responsibilities at Deshler, Statom also serves as the Interim Youth Minister at Grace Life Church in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
"Being able to continue God's work at the church was definitely a big reason to go down there and we felt like the timing was right," Statom said.
Linville was the head coach at Tipton Rosemark in Memphis back in 2009 and was elevated to head coach at Deschler in May after the sudden resignation of longtime Tiger coach John Mothershed.
In 19 years as head coach at Deschler, Mothershed led the Tigers to a 201-53 record and back to back Class 4A state titles in 1998 and 1999.
"It's going to be a lot of fun to work with Jake and be in a community that is so football crazy." Statom said.
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