Shannon Williams, who coached Ooltewah’s football team to two playoff appearances in his three-year tenure, has resigned to become an assistant coach at Walton High School in DeFuniak, Fla.
Williams made his announcement Wednesday afternoon.
“This was a very recent decision on coach Williams’ part,” Ooltewah athletic director Jim Jarvis said. “Shannon and his wife both like the beach-type atmosphere and have been visiting that area for 10 or 12 years. The opportunity arose for him go to there, they’re young with no children and he’s taking advantage of it.”
Jarvis said the head coaching vacancy will be posted “very quickly” through the Hamilton County Schools system and added that current assistant coaches will have the opportunity to apply for the job.
In three seasons since replacing Benny Monroe, Williams posted a 21-14 record. He went 4-6 in 2010, 8-4 in 2011 and 9-4 this past season.
The Owls reached the second round of the 2011 Class 5A playoffs by beating Shelbyville, 42-20, before losing to Powell, 42-21, the following week. Powell eventually lost to Henry County, 17-14, in the championship game.
This past season Ooltewah knocked off Anderson County, 47-28, and whipped Lenoir City, 31-7, before losing at Columbia, 31-13, in the quarterfinals.
Ooltewah finished the 2012 regular season with a 7-3 record, finishing tied for second place with Bradley Central at 4-2 in District 5-3A. The Owls’ district losses were to Cleveland, 35-24, and champion McMinn County, 27-26.
In an e-mailed statement, Williams said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ooltewah High School and very much want to thank (principal) Mark Bean and Jim Jarvis for the opportunity they allowed me to have. Ooltewah is truly a special place to be and this has been a very difficult decision to leave, but this is an opportunity that my wife and I feel that we cannot pass up.
“Ooltewah is going to be fine. The program is on solid footing and with the players we have returning, along with the tremendous support from the administration, school and community here, this should be a very attractive job for potential candidates.”
Jarvis praised Williams’ contribution to the Owls’ program.
“Shannon is an excellent coach,” Jarvis said. “He’s very knowledgeable, great working with young people and an excellent classroom teach. He has certainly been a credit to Ooltewah High and our athletes are better off for having had the experience with coach Williams.”
Williams came with a high-quality recommendation to replace Monroe – from Monroe.
“When we were looking to replace coach Monroe, Benny gave him the greatest endorsement of anyone,” Jarvis said. “Benny and I have been friends for 30-plus years and he said Shannon is the most knowledgeable coach I’ve been around in high school or college. That spoke volumes for me.”
(E-mail Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org)