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)

 

 


Lee Competes In Tennessee Rust Buster Track Meet

The Lee University Track & Field teams finished their weekend with a trip to the University of Tennessee Rust Buster at Tom Black Track. The two squads combined to reach two new provisional marks and improve upon another. Adrian Martin met the provisional standard in the 200-meter dash with a fifth-place time of 24.24. The time to beat was 24.53. She also placed sixth (12.00) ... (click for more)

UTC Softball Falls To Mercer Bears 9-2

 The Chattanooga Mocs softball team couldn't tame the Mercer bats in a rubber match of a three-game series during  the opening weekend of Southern Conference play, falling to the Bears 9-2 on Sunday. With the loss, the Mocs fall to 10-22 overall and 1-2 in the SoCon. Mercer improves to 16-20, 2-1 in conference action. The Bears started the scoring in the bottom ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In 3-Car Accident In Dalton On Saturday

There was a fatal three-vehicle crash on the South Bypass in Dalton just south of Sawgrass Drive  on Saturday  at approximately  4:30 pm . The crash happened when the driver of a black Ford Mustang traveling southbound on the bypass for some reason left its lane of travel and crossed over the center line and hit a 2004 Chevy Silverado truck head on. ... (click for more)

Car Crashes Into Motel 6 In Dalton; Driver, 17, Admits To Texting While Driving

The Dalton Police Department and Dalton Fire Department responded Saturday morning to a crash at the Motel 6 at Highway 41 and Tibbs Road. The driver of the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix involved left the roadway and crashed into the Motel 6 building causing severe damage to one of the rooms. There were no major injuries. Investigators believe texting while driving was a contributing ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This Library Comes Alive

I am pretty positive that I haven’t stepped foot in a library in the last 50 years. Between the ever-widening Internet, with all of its search engines and infinite resources, I have got about as much use for a library as I would if I read a book about a transgender person. I have neither the time or inclination. Be like trying to teach a pig to sing – the pig always get bored. ... (click for more)