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)

 

 


Signal Mountain Advances In State Volleyball

SMYRNA, Tenn. – It’s a good thing that Signal Mountain volleyball coach Jennifer Redman is a young lady because her heart might not be able to stand the pressure if she wasn’t. Redman’s Lady Eagles were thisclose to being sent to the loser’s bracket in the opening round of the State Volleyball Tournament here at Stewarts Creek High School Wednesday afternoon. Had it been ... (click for more)

Baylor Falls To Pope John Paul II In Division II State Soccer

The Baylor Red Raider soccer team battled Pope John Paul II through overtime Tuesday night in the first round of the Division II state soccer tournament.  The visitors were able to score in second overtime to earn the 4-3 win over Baylor. The game was tied 1-1 at halftime.  Baylor would lead twice in the second half before giving up a game tying goal in ... (click for more)

Architect/Contractor Selected By Erlanger For New Children's/Women's Hospital

HKS has been selected as the architect and McCarthy as the construction manager for a new Children’s and Women’s Hospital at the Erlanger campus on East Third Street. The Atlanta team competed against another Atlanta group for the major construction project. Erlanger officials announced Monday that $11.5 million is being set aside in a debt restructuring for the new $30 ... (click for more)

Red Bank Protestors Say Police Out Of Control

Regular city business was overshadowed at the Red Bank Commission meeting Tuesday night by citizens protesting recent police actions. Outside city hall people holding signs lined the sidewalk and, in the time set aside for residents of the city to speak, the ones that did expressed disapproval of the police procedures surrounding a traffic stop that ended in an alleged beating. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)