Wendell Weathers Steps Aside As Ooltewah Wrestling Coach

Veteran Educator To Be Dean Of Students Now

Thursday, May 1, 2014 - by John Hunt

There's another changing of the guard in Ooltewah's athletic program.

Wendell Weathers, who has been the head wrestling coach for the Owls these past 13 years, has been pondering a life-changing decision in recent months and he made his intentions public on Thursday afternoon when he announced to the members of his team that he's taking on new responsibility at the North Hamilton County school and that he would no longer be there leader on the mat.

Weathers had his first head coaching job in wrestling at Rhea County where he spent two years before taking over the Ooltewah program.  He turned the Owls from pretenders to contenders in a short time and they had their best season in 2008 when they finished as the runner-up at the State Duals behind the Bradley Bears.

The soft-spoken 50-year-old son of legendary coach Tom Weathers has no idea how many dual meets he won as the Ooltewah coach, but he was blessed to coach three young men to individual state titles, including Jake Young in 2007 and 2009, Cody Sliger in 2007 and 2008 and Cody Hood in 2009.

"I don't feel very organized right now as I get a little emotional just talking about it.  It's hard to articulate just how I feel right now, but this is the natural next step for me as I feel like I can serve Ooltewah High School better in a different role," he said late Thursday afternoon.

"I told the members of my team today and they were a little bit shocked to hear it.  I'm not sure if that's good or bad.  My new title will be Dean of Students, which means that I'll get to work closely with the current administration.

"I've had a great run as a wrestling coach and I must give credit to a couple of assistant coaches who have made my job easy.  Ryan Cooper was here for many years and J.D. Dunbar was my assistant this past year and they both deserve a lot of credit for the success we've had," Weathers added.

Jim Jarvis is the Ooltewah principal and he may be the happiest guy on staff to hear of Weathers' decision.

"Wendell Weathers has been a tremendous asset to our entire athletic program and he may be the most unselfish coach I've ever been around," Jarvis said during a break before another after-school event began.

"He has been a real ambassador for our school.  He's been thinking about this decision for a long time and he's done a lot of praying about it, but he has aspirations to be involved in school administration and he will be tremendous in that role.

"Wendell will be working mostly with ninth graders.  I've always felt that if you wanted something done and done right, all you had to do was contact Wendell Weathers.  I have all the confidence in the world in his ability to take this next step forward," Jarvis nodded.

Jesse Nayadley has been down a much similar path to Weathers in the past year as he took over as the Ooltewah athletic director before giving up his position as the head coach of the Ooltewah boys' basketball team.  He knows exactly what his buddy is going through.

"Number one, we're thrilled to have him move up on our staff," Nayadley said Thursday afternoon.

"He's been a great coach for a long, long time, but he may be an even better person.  It was a tough decision for him as he loves Ooltewah wrestling, but I know how he feels as I went through the same thing in the past year," Nayadley concluded.

Persons interested in applying for Weathers' old job have until midnight Monday to submit their resume.  Jarvis and others will go through the interview process with hopes of naming a new coach by the end of next week.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)

Six McCallie Swimmers Qualify For Junior National Championships

Six McCallie swimmers qualified for the 2018 National Club Swimming Association Junior National Championships, held March 13-17 in Orlando, Fla.   Junior Jake Marcum placed 10th in the 200 backstroke in school-record time (1:46.06) and raced to a 14th-place time in the 100 backstroke (49.74). He was 40th in the 50 backstroke (23.96).   The 400-medley ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Tennis Wins Two Over Grace

The Notre Dame girls and boys tennis teams beat Grace on Tuesday.  Both teams won 5-0.    Notre Dame Girls def. Grace Academy Girls 5-0 Girls Singles: Anna Qualey (N) def. Lauren Estes 8-2 Charlotte Mahn (N) def. Makayla Fisher 8-0 Jane Haywood (N) def. Abigail Smith 8-1 Grace Hill (N) def. Caroline Connor 8-5 Morgan Hicks (N) won by default ... (click for more)

City May Make It Easier For Food Trucks To Operate In Chattanooga

The City Council is considering action that would make it easier for food trucks to operate in Chattanooga.  City Attorney Wade Hinton said cities like Austin and Portland have thriving food truck operations and Chattanooga is studying those models. He said, "It's truly an industry there." He said a 2013 food truck ordinance was limited and did not allow food trucks on ... (click for more)

Magistrate Says She Was Fired Because Philyaw Did Not Want To Be Seen With Someone Openly Gay

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court said she was fired because Judge Rob Philyaw and Court Administrator Sam Mairs "wanted me gone because I was openly gay." County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said Elizabeth Gentzler was not the only gay at Juvenile Court and Hamilton County government, indicating that may be part of the county's defense. Attorney Stuart James, representing Ms. ... (click for more)

The Panhandling "Tax" On Gunbarrel

I’ve been reading about the panhandling problem in downtown; it is a huge problem in the Gunbarrel area, too.  It’s commonplace to be accosted by panhandlers when walking from your parked car into a commercial establishment.  And often they are aggressive.  I look carefully around my car before getting out, but sometimes someone will be lurking in between cars and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Meme From The Meanies

Hardly a day goes past that I don’t receive several strings of memes in my incoming emails and yesterday there was one particular collection that gave me pause for thought. First, here’s the definition of a meme: “An Internet meme (/mi?m/ MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via ... (click for more)