ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta football will enter a new era in 2020 with the school recently announcing Jason Kervin will serve as the program’s fourth head coach. Kervin joins the Raiders after a 12-year stint with Alabama powerhouse Hoover High School, where he led the Bucs to six state championships and a national title. He served as Hoover’s offensive coordinator the past five seasons.
Kervin said he was drawn to take his first head coaching position in Alpharetta because of the school’s community.
“Alpharetta has a lot to offer from the community, the school and football,” Kervin said.
The key draw, he said, is the education aspect of the school because he has four children.
“What really made me decide Alpharetta was the place for me was the commitment from Principal Shannon Kersey, athletic director Dustin Rennspies, the committee, and everyone in the interview really sold me on their commitment to seeing Alpharetta football be able to reach the heights of what they have been to do in other areas,” he said. “They want to create and build something special.”
Kervin describes himself as a bit of “player’s coach,” and that he is intense and fairly hard-nosed. He will bring an emphasis on work-ethic, discipline and sense of family to the program, he said.
“We are going to work hard, get after it and compete, but we are also going to have fun,” he said. “And players will be surrounded by people that challenge you, make you better, and you know you are a part of something special. I think we can have that balance there.”
Kervin said landing with Hoover was a dream job, and his stint at the school and its challenging football schedule should serve him well in his new role.
It’s go time! I am thankful and excited for this opportunity. New chapter, same story! https://t.co/5IxeGESjjT— raiders4theWIN (@JasonKervin) February 18, 2020
The Raiders will face a new measuring stick in his first season, with the school transitioning from Class 6A to Class 7A in the 2020 season. Alpharetta will join an updated Region 5-AAAAAAA that includes established 7A teams, including Roswell, Etowah, Cherokee, Woodstock and rival Milton.
“That was one of the big draws for me, I want to play against the best,” Kervin said. “I know there are a few good schools locally and some established programs. We want to schedule the best and play the best. That’s the only way you as a program, as a coach and as a player can reach your full potential.”
Hoover ran a pro-style offense with multiple personnel groupings, shifts and motions typically led by a pocket passer with a balanced run game. Kervin expects to implement the same offense with the Raiders.
Kervin’s father was also a head football coach and spent his time with a small private school. He said seeing the adjustments small schools have to make with limited players and the contrast to his time with Hoover and its deep talent pool should benefit him in leading the Raiders.
He anticipates taking over all aspects of the program.
“I think teams tend to take on the personality of their head coach, so I’m looking forward to that,” he said. “I’m looking forward to people watching us play and see a hard-nosed, disciplined, selfless team, and hopefully that will be a reflection of me. And hopefully I’ll be able to imprint my personality on all three phases of the game.”
He also wants to create a successful launching pad for his fellow coaches.
“One thing I’m excited about is to hire my staff and help them grow, help them be head coaches and coordinators and fulfill their dreams, just like [Hoover head coach Josh Niblett] did with me here,” he said. “When you have the opportunity to put people you love and care about in positions to grow their career and help their family, that’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Kervin begins his tenure with the school this week, and his family is set to join him at the end of the 2019-20 school year.
He will be Alpharetta’s fourth head coach since the program begin in 2004. Bill Waters led the Raiders from 2004-08 ahead of a 5-year stint under the direction of Jason Dukes, who led the Raiders to their first two region titles.
Jacob Nichols led the program from 2014 to 2019, compiling a 46-22 record with two region titles, five playoff berths and the Raiders’ deepest playoff run in program history in 2017.