Grundy County Schools hire a new football coach

Scott Smith has been hired as the new coach of the Grundy County High School football team. (Images: Grundy Co. High School, WTVC)

The Grundy County Yellowjackets have a new leader on the football field after an attempted rape incident rocked the small Tennessee town.

The school district hired Scott Smith to lead the program and to be a teacher at Grundy County High School.

Below is the press release from Jessie Kinsey, Director of Schools:

"Scott Smith has been hired to teach and be the head coach of the Grundy County High School football team. Scott Smith has been coaching and teaching for over 27 years. In 2001, he led Ezell-Harding Christian School in Antioch, TN to a single A state championship. Over the years, Coach Smith has taken five different teams to either the state playoffs or a post season bowl game.

Smith was named leader of the program after an almost four month search to fill the head coaching position. A committee of nine people appointed by the Director of Schools, Jessie Kinsey, narrowed down the search to three final candidates in early January. Per the request of the school board members during the December board meeting, all three finalists for the coaching position were also licensed teachers in Tennessee. One of the three candidates, Brandon Eden withdrew his name in January, citing family reasons. After the February board meeting, a second finalist for the position, Mike Ray withdrew his application due to board meeting conduct and the athletic committee interview process. This series of applicant withdraws left Coach Smith as the only remaining finalist for the head football coaching position. Jessie Kinsey stated... “Although I was confident that all three finalists for the position were qualified and could have been successful, I am excited to have Coach Smith who is an experienced football coach and multi-credentialed teacher to lead our student athletes.”

A word from Coach Smith, “I am excited to be back in Middle Tennessee and being the head coach at Grundy County. Last year, I decided to step away from head coaching and just to be an assistant coach, but found that my fire and passion was still there for being a head coach. My sole passion is to be a small part of taking and building on what the coaches before me have set in motion. Our goal is to field a competitive team that the community can be proud of. I am very familiar with the surrounding area and hope to be successful enough to retire there with a small cabin in the mountains.”

The Yellowjackets finished 3-7 last season under coach Casey Tate.

In order for members of the Grundy County community to meet the new coach, GCHS will host coffee with Coach Smith on Wednesday, February 28th at 9:30 am in the GCHS library. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Casey Tate was removed from his duty as football coach after five players were charged with attempted aggravated rape with a dust mop handle last year.

The school board says Tate admitted the players were in the team's field house, unsupervised when the alleged assault happened.

Related stories:

Grundy County Board of Education selects new chair; tables other major discussions

Grundy County school board pushes coach discussion, other concerns to later meetings

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