Ther­rell re­signs as Bled­soe coach

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - PAGE 2 BITS - BY STEPHEN HAR­GIS STAFF WRITER Con­tact Stephen Har­gis at 423757-6293 or shar­gis@times­freep­ress.com. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @StephenHar­gis.

With only about a month re­main­ing be­fore the prep foot­ball sea­son kicks off, Bled­soe County coach Den­nis Ther­rell has re­signed. Ther­rell coached his alma mater for just one sea­son, fin­ish­ing 4-7 last year, be­fore telling the team Thurs­day evening that he was step­ping aside.

“There is no good tim­ing to lose a coach, but I’m dis­ap­pointed for the kids,” said Bled­soe County ath­letic di­rec­tor Ja­son Reel. “Ob­vi­ously right now is a very im­por­tant time to have a good head coach. We have good as­sis­tants who can main­tain the pro­gram and keep it go­ing for­ward. The ad­min­is­tra­tion will move as fast as pos­si­ble to get some­one in here to talk to that we feel will be will­ing to work this sea­son and be­yond.

“In the sce­nario that we feel we don’t get some­one we’re com­fort­able with, then we would put some­one in as an in­terim.”

Reel, a for­mer head coach of the Warriors, said he will not take over the pro­gram but will as­sist in the search.

Ther­rell is a 1973 Bled­soe County grad­u­ate who has had a jour­ney­man ca­reer span­ning three decades that in­cludes high school stints as an as­sis­tant at Camp­bell County, Rhea County and Cal­loway County (Ken­tucky). He’s also been in the col­lege ranks at Mid­dle Ten­nessee State, Illi­nois State, Murray State, UNLV and Lock Haven (Penn­syl­va­nia), where he even­tu­ally took over as head coach for seven sea­sons and com­piled a 13-52 over­all record.

At­tempts to reach Ther­rell were not suc­cess­ful. He is the sec­ond area foot­ball head coach this week to re­sign abruptly. Carter Card­well stepped down at Boyd-Buchanan on Mon­day and was re­placed Thurs­day by for­mer Soddy-Daisy as­sis­tant Kevin Orr Ro­driguez.

“It was sort of dropped on us un­ex­pect­edly,” Reel said. “His wife did not move here with him from Ken­tucky when he took the job, and he told us that he couldn’t con­tinue liv­ing so far away from home. Since he had been here, if he had a long week­end or free day, or any chance he got, he would drive the four hours back to where she was.

“He just said he did not feel like he could move the pro­gram for­ward and that it was time to go.”

STAFF FILE PHOTO BY ROBIN RUDD

Den­nis Ther­rell re­signed as foot­ball coach of Bled­soe County High School on Thurs­day. Ther­rell fin­ished with a 4-7 record af­ter one sea­son at his alma mater.

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