Ooltewah Hires Massey To Take Over Softball Program

Former Owls Baseball Star Assumes Controls After Nelson's Firing

Thursday, May 23, 2013 - by Larry Fleming

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – While the prep athletic spotlight is on Spring Fling, Ooltewah High School managed to make news Thursday afternoon.

Jon Massey, who formerly played and coached baseball at Ooltewah High School, has been hired as the Lady Owls’ new softball coach.

Massey, who turns 49 next month, replaces veteran Norma Nelson, who was fired on May 14 after 20 years directing the Ooltewah softball program, in a controversial move by principal Mark Bean.

“I’m excited,” Massey said. “I’m going to be relying on (assistant coach) Heidi Moses, a really special coach. The dynamics of baseball and softball are very similar with a difference in some distances, but it’s all about organization and fundamentals and we’re going to work to make our team successful.”

Massey was graduated from Ooltewah in 1982 and signed to play baseball at the University of Tennessee under coach John Whited. He played with the Vols for two years and then finished his athletic career at Birmingham-Southern.

Massey then coached for Steve Longley at Cleveland State Community College for two years and eventually graduated from UT-Chattanooga. He then worked at McKee Foods and later decided he wanted to teach and coach.

He joined the Ooltewah faculty in 2001 and was an assistant baseball coach for Joe Wingate for four years. When Wingate left for Arkansas State, Massey moved into the head position and held that post from 2006-08. He had a 79-46 record and the per-season  breakdown went like this: 35-9, 28-18 and 16-19.

“I really enjoyed coaching baseball, but I was also coaching football and it’s hard to do both sports when you’ve got young children,” Massey said. “I chose to give up one of them, but I’m starting my 10th year coaching freshman football.

“The opportunity to coach softball – I’ve helped coach my daughter’s teams in the past – came up and I look forward to working with the girls.”

Ooltewah athletic director Jim Jarvis confirmed Massey’s official hiring Thursday afternoon.

“We’re very fortunate to have on staff a person with the background of a Jon Massey,” Jarvis said. “Jon played here, played at UT and finished at Birmingham-Southern. He returned to Ooltewah in 2001 and helped with the varsity baseball program, eventually becoming the head coach. He was very successful and ran an outstanding program.”

Massey, who teaches special education, said he is currently working to put in place a pitching coach and Bri Shoemake, an Ooltewah graduate who earned softball all-America honors at Carson-Newman College will join the staff.

Nelson, who succeeded Jim Lovell, finished runner-up in the state tournament in 1994-95 and 1997 in her first four years as the head coach. She was with the program for 25 years, the last 20 as head coach, and won more than 600 games.

Nelson captured three state championships in 1990, 1992 and 2008, a season in which the Lady Owls finished 46-3-1. In those title years, Ooltewah went 135-21.

Ooltewah also won a state softball title under Lovell in 1982.

“Norma is a friend of mine,” Massey said. “She will do well in whatever she decides to do. She’ll be fine.”

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)

 

 


Atlanta Silverbacks Dodge Chattanooga Upset In Overtime

The Chattanooga Football Club was minutes away from a 1-0 upset of visiting Atlanta Silverbacks in the third round of the US Open Cup. After battling for 87 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Chattanooga team representing the NPSL scored the potential game winner when Luke Winter finished off a cross from John Finlay. Minutes later, a foul in the box by CFC led to a Atlanta ... (click for more)

This Day In Baseball History, May 28.

1930  Phillies right-hander Grover Cleveland Alexander ends his 20-year career with a relief appearance in the team's 5-1 loss in Boston. 'Old Pete' finishes his two decades in the major leagues with a 373-208 (.642) record, which includes winning 30 or more games in three consecutive seasons beginning in 1915, along with a 2.56 lifetime ERA. 1939  Over two successive ... (click for more)

Circuit Court Jury Gives $20,599,000 Verdict In Favor Of Canyon Ridge Developers; Punitive Damages To Be Added

A Hamilton County Circuit Court jury on Thursday awarded $20,599,000 to the developers of Canyon Ridge on Lookout Mountain against a financial firm that allegedly secretly started working on a rival project. The jury also said the plaintiffs are due punitive damages. The amount will be set on Monday morning in the courtroom of Judge J.B. Bennett after each side gives 20-minute ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Loses Bicycle National Championships To Winston-Salem

After a three-year run, Chattanooga is losing the national championship bicycle races. Winston-Salem, N.C., has been selected to serve as the host city for the 2016 and 2017 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road & TT National Championships. The 2016 Volkswagen USA Cycling Pro Road & TT National Championships will be held May 22-30. The nine-day event will combine the ... (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property - And Response

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: General Boykin Helps ‘Warriors’

General W.G. “Jerry” Boykin is one of the most fabled warriors in modern-day warfare. He is also one of the most polarizing men who has ever served his country. General Boykin, retired after 36 years as a soldier, spent 13 years in the secretive Delta Force. At one time he commanded the Green Berets and was in one some pretty impressive engagements. In 1980 he was in on the ... (click for more)