Derek Irons enters his fifth season at the helm of the Eagles baseball program after four seasons in which the Eagles have averaged 30 wins each year. OMHS has reached the playoffs in all four seasons, twice advancing to the quarterfinals. The 2017, 2018, and 2019 squads each finished the season ranked #2 by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. There have been ten All-State selections from those teams, and nineteen players to continue their baseball careers collegiately. Oak Mountain has also received the Team Academic Excellence Award from the American Baseball Coaches Association for four consecutive years, and is the only high school in Alabama to do so.
Irons took over the Eagle program after a seven year stint as the head coach at Charles Henderson High School. The Trojans captured back to back state championships in 2013 and 2014. Those teams combined for an 18 game playoff win streak. The Trojans spent 18 weeks ranked #1 by the ASWA and were in the top ten during the entire seven seasons.
Coach Irons has been chosen Coach of the Year on twelve occasions by outlets such as the National Federation of High School Coaches, the Alabama Sports Writers Association, the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He has a career record of 397-141 (74%) and has also amassed 54 career playoff victories.
Irons was a catcher at Dora High School, then played first base for two years at Bevill State in Fayette. He then obtained his undergraduate and masters' degrees from the University of Alabama before starting his coaching career.
Irons and his wife Leslie have been married for eleven years and have three children: Luke who is 10, Alex who is 8, and Kate who is 5. They are members of the Church at Brook Hills. The Irons’ co-founded WOD for Water-Troy, an organization that has raised over $500,000 for the sake of clean water globally. They partner with NeverThirst in Birmingham, and you can read more about NeverThirst at neverthirstwater.org.
Andrew Pickett enters his second year at Oak Mountain High School as an Assistant Baseball Coach. He spent one year serving as an assistant coach at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa. He was a SS/P for Montevallo High School and a pitcher at the University of Montevallo for two seasons.
Andrew obtained a Bachelors in Business Administration in 2005. He worked 13 years as a Production Manager/Foreman for a local manufacturing company before completing his Master’s Degree in Education in 2018. He teaches Career Prep and Marketing classes at OMHS and is also an assistant football coach.
Andrew has been married to his Kindergarten sweetheart, Brittany, for 15 years. Brittany was a 5th grade teacher at Calera before becoming the Library Media Specialist for Calera Middle School, where she has been for the last 7 years. They have two children, a 14 year old daughter, Rylan, and an 8 year old son, Easton.
Jason Neeley grew up in Alexander City, where he attended Benjamin Russell High School and graduated in 1993. Coach Neeley played baseball and basketball in high school, and received a baseball scholarship to Central Alabama Community College. He was part of teams that went a combined 82-25 over a 2 year span. After attending CACC, he received a scholarship to play baseball at the University of Montevallo. Neeley was selected to the Gulf South Conference All-Conference team in 1996 as a closer. In 1997 he was selected Academic All-Conference.
Neeley is currently in his 14th year at Oak Mountain. Prior to coaching at the high school level, he was the head baseball coach at Oak Mountain Middle School. Through 9 seasons Coach Neeley compiled a record of 206-84 along with winning 2 conference championships. Neeley also coaches running backs for Oak Mountain Middle School Football.
He along with Renae, his wife of 19 years, reside in the Oak Mountain area. Renae is employed at Oak Mountain Elementary School. Jason and Renae have 3 children; Thomas (16), Cole (13), and Jaycie (10).