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Bill Patterson with Battles when he was introduced at Tallassee in 2012

Battles and program parting ways

By Michael Butler

After 12 years as Tallassee High School head football coach and athletic director, Mike Battles is leaving the program.

"Tallassee City Schools appreciates all that Coach Battles has done in his 12 years as a science teacher, athletic director and head football coach," Tallassee City Schools Superintendent Dr. Brock Nolin noted in a statement. "Mr. (Drew) Glass, Coach Battles and I met this weekend and all agreed it would be best to part ways at this time. We wish him the very best. TCS will begin the search for a head coach immediately."

Battles addressed his players on Monday morning. Tallassee ended its season with a 54-18 loss at home versus Holtville on Friday night. The Tigers went 1-9, the lowest win mark in Battles' 27-year career as a head coach.

"When you look back on the season, yeah it's been disappointing because we know how hard we've worked and what we put into it, but it's going to be a small part of their whole high school experience," Battles said. "There are bigger and better things down the road for them. If they've learned anything, they've learned how to deal with adversity. There's going to be some mountains and valleys. You're going to hit all of them."

Battles 195 career wins ranks him 13th among active coaches in the state. At Tallassee he is second in victories only to J.E. "Hot" O'Brien, the stadium's namesake. He is also the second-longest tenured coach behind O'Brien.

Battles' record at THS was 78-54. His teams reached the playoffs eight times. The deepest playoff run was to the Class 4A quarterfinals with a 9-4 campaign in 2016. The 2017 team went 10-2, a high mark in wins over the dozen-year stretch.

Battles leading the team onto the field prior to last year's second round playoff game against Charles Henderson

Battles had a 46-6 record in his previous four-year stint at Bibb County. Each of those teams made the playoffs. The 2010 squad made the Class 4A semifinals. He also spent 11 years at Oak Grove with a record of 71-49.

The son of longtime coach Mike Battles Sr., Battles played his high school football for his dad at Wellborn High School and was an all-state selection. He played in the 1990 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. He played college ball under Terry Bowden and Chan Gailey at Samford.

Battles during Friday night's season-ending loss to Holtville

The Battles File (Tallassee Years)

2023: 1-9
2022: 7-5
2021: 7-3
2020: 3-7
2019: 5-4
2018: 6-4
2017: 10-2
2016: 9-4
2015: 5-6
2014: 8-4
2013: 8-3
2012: 9-3