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


Cleveland, Bradley Central No. 1 And No. 2 In State Wrestling Poll

Now in its 25th year, The Poll is primarily a measure of  dual meet strength  with some consideration to individual tournament strength.   Votes are cast by a state-wide panel of high school wrestling coaches and are based on a maximum Power Ranking of 100%.   STATE POLL:   RANK ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Central Boys Win Over Hixson

Chattanooga Police To Add 14 Officers After Violent Weekend; New System To Allow Local Testing Of Shell Casings

In the wake of a weekend in which five people were shot with two dying, the Chattanooga Police Department is adding 14 more officers, Mayor Andy Berke and Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday. The department is also utilizing a new system that will allow local testing of shell casings and avoid a long wait time after sending them off to Nashville. Chief Fletcher also said there ... (click for more)

Cleveland Mother And Father Indicted After 2-Month Old Tests Positive For Meth; Has Multiple Injuries

The father and mother of a two-month-old in Cleveland have been indicted for child abuse after the baby tested positive for meth and had multiple injuries. Cleveland Police said on Jan. 4 the Department of Children Services and the Cleveland Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit began a joint investigation on an aggravated child neglect/abuse case.  DCS and ... (click for more)

Proud Of Chattanooga And The Women's March - And Response (2)

I was very happy to participate in the Women’s March on Chattanooga yesterday afternoon. The diversity and the sheer numbers of women, men and children were incredible. One estimate was at least 3,000. Standing together with all of these like-minded souls was overwhelming and humbling.  I have rarely been so happy and so proud of my town.  One question is, why is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Puzzling Women

After Rhonda Thurman left the “Enlightment” meeting of the Hamilton Country School Board Saturday afternoon, she must have been catching up on the news when she posted this message on her Facebook page: “I am really trying to understand. I am a woman and I cannot think of one "RIGHT" I do not have. Can someone enlighten me?” Not one person enlightened Rhonda because nobody could ... (click for more)