Bryant Blackmon New Wrestling Coach At Ooltewah

Former State Champ Had Been Assistant At Walker Valley

Friday, May 9, 2014 - by John Hunt

The administration at Ooltewah High School didn't waste any time finding a new wrestling coach.

Wendell Weathers announced last week that he was stepping aside after 13 years as the head coach to become the Dean of Students for the Owls.

Bryant Blackmon was introduced as the new head coach on Friday afternoon.

Blackmon is a 28-year-old former state champion who won the 171-pound title as a senior at Bradley after finishing as runner-up in 2003. 

He followed older brother Rusty to Oklahoma State where he was a member of the Cowboys' wrestling team when they won a pair of NCAA championships.  He transferred back to UTC after his sophomore year where he later graduated with a degree in Finance.   He added a Masters degree from Lincoln Memorial in Curriculum and Instruction a few years later.

Blackmon was the head coach at Greenback for two years before coming back to Cleveland where he has been an assistant coach at Walker Valley for the past four years.  He wasn't really looking to leave Walker Valley, but when the opportunity presented itself, he couldn't say no.

"I'm really excited as it was a great opportunity for me to take over a well-established program," Blackmon explained Friday afternoon after meeting his newest team for the first time.

"I'm sad to be leaving a great group of guys at Walker Valley.  I was happy where I was and I knew that it would have to be the perfect situation for me to leave.  Ooltewah is the perfect place for me.

"I came down to meet the guys this afternoon and they seem to be motivated," Blackmon added.

He's been teaching Computer Applications at Walker Valley,  but he'll be an Economics teacher at Ooltewah.

Jim Jarvis is the principal at Ooltewah who was part of the group who interviewed Blackmon.  He feels like it's a great opportunity for all parties involved.

"It's great news that Bryant Blackmon has accepted the offer to be our next wrestling coach," Jarvis said Friday afternoon.

"We're truly blessed to have a man like him take over in this position.  Wendell Weathers did a great job of taking this program to the next level and we feel confident that Bryant will continue that process.  We want to continue the progress that Wendell started and feel like Bryant is the one to do that.

"Bryant is a class person.  He's a quality teacher and outstanding wrestling coach.  We're looking for big things from him," Jarvis said.

Blackmon has served under head coach Alan Morris for the past four years, but their background goes way back before that as Morris was his coach in the Bradley Kids Club.

"I'm happy for Bryant and I know that he'll do a good job.  If that's the route he wants to take, I'm 100 percent behind him.  I've known him since he was a little kid and he's a good guy.  We'll miss him, but I feel sure that he's ready to put Ooltewah back on the map in wrestling," Morris offered.

Blackmon and his wife Meghan are expecting their first child in June.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net


UT To Implement New Bag Policy For All Athletic Venues

To enhance safety and expedite fan entry to athletic events, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is implementing new safety policies for fans bringing bags into all athletic venues, including Neyland Stadium, beginning in August. Only one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon clear resealable plastic storage bag per person will ... (click for more)

Fair Announces Class 6A Preseason All-State Team

Murphy Fair has announced the Preseason All-State 6A football team in his magazine, Tennessee High School Football. When coaches were completing their survey for Fair's annual preseason high school football magazine this past spring, they were asked to vote for players in their own classification who were the best at what they do on the football field. To order a copy ... (click for more)

County Schools Receive Community Gift For Almost $1 Million To Fund Public School Bible History Program

Bible in the Schools presented a community gift for nearly $1 million to the Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) to reimburse 100 percent of the costs of funding a Bible history program in 18 public schools for the 2015–2016 academic year. Enrollment data for 2015–2016 reported 3,582 students in grades 6–12 elected to take a Bible history classes. “This gift from the ... (click for more)

DA's Office Defends Suspended Sentence In School Bus Driver Rape Case

The District Attorney's Office defended a controversial suspended sentence in a rape case involving a substitute county school bus driver. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said the victim, who was 15 years old at the time of the March 2015 incident, was in agreement on the plea and refused to testify against Alexander Rodriquez. Rodriguez, 34, last Thursday pleaded guilty to ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again - And Response

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jerika’s Last Dance

There is a horrifying disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What happens is the nerve cells in a person’s brain stem and spinal cord slowly die and, without the ability to voluntarily control your muscles, your body withers away in one of the most painful ways you can imagine. Jerika Bolen, age 14, can’t stand it any longer, nor ... (click for more)