By Josh Troy
Clarksdale High School’s football program has made the playoffs for 10 consecutive seasons and won three straight district championships, with the success continuing during Johnny Maddox’s first year as the head coach in 2022. Maddox was named the 2022 Region 3-4A Coach of the Year after leading the Wildcats to the District Championship. Clarksdale finished the season with a 10-2 overall record, going 4-0 in division matchups and winning a playoff game.
Maddox, an assistant since 2012 under former head coaches Chuck Reid and Henry Johnson, credited Johnson with building a foundation for the 2022 season. There will be a new challenge in 2023 as the Wildcats will move to Class 5A in the Mississippi High School Activities Association.“It’s an honor to be named 4A Region 3 Coach of the Year in my first year as a Head Coach,” Maddox said. “We won our district championship, which was our first goal. As a coaching staff, it was a great accomplishment to continue the winning tradition here in Clarksdale. Coach Johnson left a good team and program for us to continue to build on. I look forward to moving up to 5A next season and continuing to work, get better and win.”
Maddox, born and raised in Clarksdale, is a 1999 Clarksdale High School graduate after winning back-to-back state championships in 1997 and 1998. He played football for Troy University in Troy, Ala., for two years and won back-to-back Southland Conference Championships in both seasons. He then transferred to Jackson State University in the fall of 2001 to finish playing my last two years of college football. Maddox has been coaching for 13 years. He started teaching and coaching in 2009 in the Quitman County School District as an offensive lineman for head coach Aaron Holden.
He returned to the Clarksdale Municipal School District in 2011, and started working as a lab teacher, assistant soccer coach, and assistant middle school football coach. Birley Gipson Jr. was the middle school head coach when Maddox was an assistant. Reid promoted Maddox to the high school level in 2012 as the assistant offensive line coach for the Wildcats. Johnson became the Clarksdale head coach in 2013 and named Maddox the linebackers coach. Maddox became the defensive coordinator for the Wildcats in 2015 and was named head coach after Johnson retired in 2021.