Rose Leaves North Jackson High School


By: Nick Hall

Head football coach Mark Rose is leaving North Jackson High School once again. Rose announced this week that he will be taking over head coaching duties at 6A Russell County High School. “It’s back in the area where my wife and I have family, so it’s great for us, and at the end of the day our goal was to get back closer to the Auburn area where we have kids and grandchildren,” said Rose. “North Jackson has been the best thing to happen to me two times, and we’ll always have great memories from the relationships we’ve built here.” Rose first took the reins at North Jackson back in 2000. Over the next eight years he led the Chiefs to four 10-0 regular seasons and seven region titles. Rose posted a 54-2 record during that first stint as Chiefs’ head coach. North Jackson also finished as the Class 4A runner-up in 2002, as well as sending no less than five players to NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools during that span. Rose left to rebuild a Smith Station program, which he did, taking them to the Class 6A quarter-finals. When he returned in 2014, Rose found a North Jackson program that had struggled to a 2-8 record a year earlier. Rose once again righted the ship, going 7-4 in his first season back, 33-23 over the last five years, including an 11-1 finish and region title this season. In 13 years at the helm, Rose compiled an overall record of 118-33. Lee Witherspoon’s recent signing with Mississippi State makes at least six years under Rose’s leadership that the North Jackson has sent a player to an FSB program. When asked about the search for a new head football coach, assistant principal and athletic director Josh Harding said, “We’d like to get the ball rolling on finding our new coach because our kids are already in the weight room getting ready for spring practice. I’m sure the phone lines will blow up just because of the success the program has had.”