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


Gilliland Low Pro At Council Fire

Hunt Gilliland shot 74 Monday and took low-pro honors at the Chattanooga Chapter TN PGA Pro-Am Results at tCouncil Fire. Individual Results: Low Professional: 1st: (74) Hunt Gilliland                               T2nd: (75) Tad Holley & Brandon Arnold  Professional Skins: Nathan ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Conduct And Courage Lead To Honor

Virgil Roberson was a quiet and soft-spoken man. I never heard him say anything bad about anybody....never. His smile could light up an entire room, and unless you already knew that Virgil was one of the most successful track coaches in Chattanooga's rich sports history, you likely would never know. He certainly wouldn't tell you. He was also a very valuable assistant football coach ... (click for more)

State Says "Beef" Between 2 Bloods Gangs Started Over A Female And Led Eventually To Shootings At College Hill Courts

The state presented testimony on Monday about a feud between two Bloods gangs that allegedly eventually led to a 16-year-old shooting up a unit at College Hill Courts - killing one woman, injuring another, leaving a child paralyzed and injuring a member of the other Bloods gang. A city police gang expert said the bitter rift between the Athens Park Bloods based on the Southside ... (click for more)

Walker County To Raise Water, Sewer Rates To Improve Aging Infrastructure

 The board of directors for the Walker County Water & Sewerage Authority (WCWSA) has granted approval for the utility to move forward with a base rate increase to address aging infrastructure concerns.   Starting this summer, WCWSA will begin replacing older galvanized pipe. These older water mains will be upgraded from two-inch galvanized pipe to six-inch high-pressure ... (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: Oh Yes, I Loved West

One of my most beloved friends died early Saturday morning at the age of 67. Then again, West Oehmig’s only brother – King – died a couple of years ago at 63 so it wasn’t by happenstance I remembered Abraham Lincoln’s famous line: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” Here are two brothers who lived larger than any other pair I can ... (click for more)