May 21—Tyner Academy has named Scott Chandler as its new head football coach. Chandler had been the head coach at Ooltewah the previous three seasons before stepping down in February. He takes over for Tyrus Ward, who resigned in April — just one month after accepting the Rams job.
Chandler guided Ooltewah to an overall record of 16-16 after being promoted from Owls defensive assistant prior to the 2018 season.
“The first thing that would have any coach interested in this program is just how successful they’ve been through the years and the tradition they have,” Chandler said. “You look around at all the region championship plaques and start realizing how many playoff runs they’ve made and you just say ‘wow’. Then again I know we have to continue that tradition now.”
Chandler inherits a program that has claimed 16 region titles and reached the playoffs 27 times in the last 30 seasons, including three state championship game appearances and the Class 2A title in 1997.
When Ward stepped down at Tyner in late April, it came just before the team was to begin spring practice and he said at the time it was a decision that would allow him to pursue “other coaching options”. Ward, who had taken over at Tyner for legendary former coach Wayne Turner, has not yet joined another coaching staff. Turner resigned at the end of last season after guiding the Rams program for 30 years.
“We played Tyner twice when I was at Ooltewah and the amount of talent they have in such a small school is what stood out even then,” Chandler said. “They always play hard and they play the game the right way and that was a reflection of how Coach Turner ran the program. I’m honored to be able to follow a coach like him here.
“We’re three weeks behind getting to know the kids so the relationship factor is bigger than the on-field football stuff to me. But we’ll get busy working with the kids right away and we’ll get there.”
A 1981 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe graduate who later graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chandler also worked as a graduate assistant at Kansas State when Bob Stoops was the defensive coordinator there. Chandler has also been a college assistant at Valdosta State and Emporia State and a high school assistant at Rhea County, Trion and Gordon Central, where he also coached boys’ basketball before coming to Ooltewah.
Besides his three seasons overseeing the Owls program, Chandler also coached for three years at Georgia’s Coosa High, where he compiled a 20-15 overall record and two trips to the playoffs, which ended a 15-year postseason drought for that program.
In Chandler’s first season at Ooltewah, he guided the team to a 9-3 finish and reached the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.
“I am so excited about this hire because Scott brings experience and passion to the job and that will go a long way to benefit our kids,” said Tyner principal Gerald Harris. “It was unfortunate in regards to what happened with Coach Ward but things happen for a reason and Coach Chandler will hit the ground running and the community will see his passion for working with kids.”
Chandler’s hiring leaves Sequatchie County and McMinn Central as the only remaining Chattanooga-aera programs still looking for new head coaches.
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.