American Christian Academy head football coach Chris Smelley has resigned his position according to ACA Athletic Director Rob Cain and our own Gary Harris. Smelley's resignation comes just three weeks before the Patriots are set to open their 2021 season.

"I've been at ACA for most of my life as either a student and now teaching and coaching for the last 10 years. I love the school and especially the football players who I have been blessed to coach but I did resign for personal reasons," said Smelley in a statement to Tide 100.9.

"I'm very proud of the program we have built I my time at ACA and I know that it is in good hands moving forward. I had the pleasure of working with so many unbelievable people and I wish them all the best."

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Smelley, a 2006 graduate of ACA has been in charge of the football program since 2014. The former South Carolina quarterback has accumulated a 65-21 record leading the Patriots and has won the last three Class 4A Region 3 championships while making the playoffs for the last six consecutive years.

The Patriots will turn to defensive coordinator Cody Martin to serve as interim head coach. Strength and conditioning coordinator Kade McGee will assume the role of Director of Football Operations.

ACA enters the year ranked No. 4 in the preseason Alabama Class 4A  polls, the Patriots ended its season last year by losing to eventual state champion Handley in the Class 4A Semifinals. ACA is scheduled to travel to Parker High School to open its season on Friday, Aug. 20.

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