Kelly McNair, Josh Donaldson, Gregg Hope, Erroll Hickenbottom, Tom Esslinger, Bryan Burgess, and Ashley Bussey
Josh Donaldson, Kelly McNair, Erroll Hickenbottom, Tom Esslinger, Ashley Bussey, and Gregg Hope after 2019 Indoor State
Coaches for 2019-20
Tom Esslinger (Track and Field and Cross Country Program Director, Head Track and Field Coach)
Tom Esslinger has been teaching history and coaching at Homewood High School since the fall of 2005 and has led Homewood to 18 state championship trophies and 9 state runner-up trophies as the head track and field coach. Additionally, the track and field and cross country program has won 29 state championships during Esslinger’s tenure as program director. Esslinger was named the 2017 Girls Track and Field National Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association and 2017 Girls Track and Field South (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN) Coach of the Year by the NFHS. Tom has also been named Alabama Track and Field Coach of the Year four times, twice by the NFHS and twice by the USTFCCCA. Esslinger was a coach for the U.S. Navy Team for the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs in 2014.
Prior to earning his Master’s degree in Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Esslinger graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Political Science. At the University of South Alabama Esslinger was an All-Conference Decathlete in 2001 and 2003 in the NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference, earned the Perseverance Award for Courage and Character in Athletics, won the Most Outstanding Student in Political Science Award, and was selected to the Verizon Academic All-District IV Team for NCAA Track & Field. Esslinger was a 1998 graduate of Scottsboro High School where he was an AAU All-American in the decathlon and was All-State multiple times. His father John Esslinger coached him in high school and is in the AHSAA Hall of Fame for winning 46 state championships. Tom lives in Homewood with his wife Amanda, who is an administrator at Homewood High School, and their two sons John (11) and Will (8).
Joshua Donaldson (Head Cross Country Coach, Associate Head Coach Track and Field)
Josh Donaldson has been teaching science and coaching at Homewood High School since 2012 and was selected as Homewood High School Teacher of the Year for the 2019-20 school year. Josh began serving as Head Cross Country Coach in 2018 and led the both the girls' and boys' teams to 6A State Championships in both 2018 and 2019, and he continues to lead the distance runners to unprecedented success. As Associate Head Coach in Track and Field, Josh is a well-rounded coach who can coach all of the events and has led Homewood pole vaulters to numerous individual championships and All-State performances. Donaldson has been an essential part of all 29 championships in the program's history, and he was an athlete on the first Homewood team to ever win in 2006. He teaches AP Biology at Homewood High School and has excelled in both academics and community service throughout his life. Prior to earning Master's degrees in Education and Education Administration, Josh graduated summa cum laude with Math and Biology degrees from the University of Alabama. Donaldson consistently strives to help those around him in the community and also serves as Camp Director for Camp Dawson at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church.
Bryan Burgess (Assistant Cross Country and Outdoor Track and Field, Assistant Athletic Director)
Bryan Burgess has been working at Homewood since 2016 and has been essential to success in cross country, track and field, basketball, and the athletic department as a whole. Bryan has had an impressive coaching career, including winning two state championships as the Head Cross Country Coach at John Carroll. Burgess coaches distance runners in the fall, girls basketball in the winter, and sprinters in the spring in addition to serving as Assistant Athletic Director.
Ashley Bussey (Assistant Track and Field)
Ashley Bussey began coaching hurdles at Homewood during the 2018-19 school year and helped lead the program to an incredible year in the hurdle events during her first year coaching. Ashley has been around the sport her entire life and earned an athletic scholarship in hurdles to Samford University after graduating from Vestavia Hills High School, where she was a state champion and earned All-State honors in the hurdles. Ashley's father is the legendary Randy Faust who was Vestavia Hill's head track and cross country coach for 27 years.
Erroll Hickenbottom (Assistant Track and Field)
Erroll Hickenbottom began coaching the jumps at Homewood during the 2016-17 season, and he has had a stellar career as both a coach and an athlete. In addition to leading Homewood athletes to outstanding performances, Erroll has been a successful coach at the collegiate level at Samford University and has run two different track clubs in Mobile and Nashville. Erroll was a great jumper for the University of Alabama where he earned All-SEC honors in the Triple Jump. Hickenbottom also won multiple individual and team state titles at Blount High School as an athlete and graduated from Blount in 1999 as one of the most successful jumpers in the history of Alabama high school athletics.
Gregg Hope (Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field)
Gregg Hope started coaching at Homewood in 2018 and has been an integral part of the program's success. Gregg was an exceptional distance runner and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise about how to help distance runners get the most out of their ability. Hope has coached runners from all over the state at every level and has helped many athletes win both individual and team state championships. Gregg had several years of success coaching at Scottsboro prior to coming to Homewood, and he is originally from Mobile where he went to UMS Wright Preparatory School and was one of the best distance runners in the state and an individual state champion.
Kelly McNair (Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field)
Kelly McNair started coaching at Homewood in the fall of 2018 and made an instant impact on the quality of the distance program. Kelly has been coaching and teaching classes at Resolute Running since 2014 and has helped runners of all ages throughout the Birmingham area reach their running goals. McNair is an extremely accomplished runner, and her coaching expertise in a variety of areas has helped Homewood distance runners become more well-rounded and attain personal bests at unprecedented rates. Kelly graduated from the University of Georgia and worked at the Lakeshore Foundation for ten years as specialist, coordinator, and director of the Aquatics Program prior.
Myron Powe (Assistant Track and Field)
Myron Powe began coaching shot put and discus at Homewood during the 2018 track and field season and has guided the throwers to great performances and new school records that have contributed to multiple teams state championships. Coach Powe has been an exceptional PE teacher and coach for multiple sports for 16 years at Homewood. Powe attended the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned a degree in Sports Administration and lettered in football. Powe earned All-Conference honors in Conference USA while playing offensive line at Southern Miss and went on to play professionally for two years after college. He graduated high school from Wilcox County where is was All-State in football and on a state championship team in basketball.
Josh Reidinger (Assistant Cross Country and Track and Field)
Josh Reidinger joined the coaching staff in the fall of 2019 and brings exceptional leadership, character, and knowledge to the program. Josh has a passion for running, an extraordinary record of community service, and has an incredible ability to help those around him reach their full potential. He had a very successful running career at both Vestavia Hills High School and Samford University and currently works as a CPA at Warren Averett. Josh currently serves as President and Member of Warren Averett Asset Management, a top fee-only wealth management firm as recognized by CNBC and Financial Times.
Deon White (Assistant Track and Field)
Deon White is entering his first season coaching at Homewood, and he will coach both shot put and discus in addition to coaching football. Coach White was on Pinson Valley's football staff for the last two years and was a part of state championship teams in both 2017 and 2018. White played football for Jacksonville State University, earned First Team All-American honors, and went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers after graduating. Deon was a 1998 graduate of Minor High School where he had an impressive athletic and academic career.