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By ARTHUR L. MACK
Assistant coach Dru Powell was promoted as the head boys basketball coach at Saraland High School, the school announced Thursday.
Powell succeeds Andy Ryan, who served as the Spartans’ head coach from 2012-23 and led them to area titles in 2017 and 2021. Ryan was 104-166 with nine losing seasons in 11 years. Saraland’s best finish under Ryan was 19-8 in 2021.
“We’re very fortunate to have some great players,” Powell said. “Saraland is a great place and it’s respected not only for athletics but also for academics. Coach Ryan has been successful in this business for a long time and I learned quite a bit from him.
“It’s kind of a unique situation for me because this past season was the first time in 14 years of coaching being an assistant. But I’ve got a decent idea of what we’ve got and I’m excited about the challenge.”
Powell previously served as the head coach at Thompson High (2018-22), Spanish Fort (2011-18) and Gulf Shores (2009-11). In his first year at Thompson, Powell inherited a program that went 1-25 the year before and led the Warriors to a 21-12 finish. Powell led Spanish Fort to its first state final four appearance in 2017 and was 27-30 at Gulf Shores.
“We’ve seen how he has led programs,” Saraland athletic director Jeff Kelly said. “He comes from a coaching family and while he was an assistant coach, he did a great job with us up to this point this past year. When the opportunity came, it was a great fit. He brings a proven track record and we’re looking forward to him making Saraland a championship-caliber program.”