Mark Teague Facing Big Challenges As New Howard Coach

Former East Ridge Assistant Confident His Kids Can Do Well

Monday, August 4, 2014 - by John Hunt

(This is the second in a series of preseason stories on new high school football coaches, or veteran coaches at a different school, and top players in the Chattanooga area)

The halls at Howard High School were relatively quiet Friday afternoon.  There were no students around while faculty members were involved with in-service activities most of the day.

Mark Teague came strolling down the hall with fellow teachers/coaches Walter “Moose” McGary and Alvin Tarver.  He had completed the first week of practice as the Hustlin’ Tigers newest head coach, but you could tell he was ready for more action, despite giving his team the day off.

Such is life for a 44-year-old father of two young adult sons who has his first head coaching position after paying his dues for the past 13 years as an assistant, including last year across town as the defensive coordinator for the East Ridge Pioneers.

Despite this being his first rodeo as the one in charge, he knew what he was getting into and he’s just thankful that he has the chance to make a difference in the lives of young men who desperately need his leadership.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” he said when asked about his first week on the job.

“It’s been all I thought it would be, but I went into coaching 14 years ago to one day be a head coach with a chance to put my stamp on a program.  This is my golden opportunity,” he said with a proud smile on his face.

Teague has lofty expectations for a team that won only one of 10 games a year ago.  Howard is averaging about 26 players a day, but he knows that others will appear when school starts.  He feels pretty good because the numbers are better than they were in spring, but he has all the confidence in the world that his guys can get the job done.

“We’ve installed a lot in these past four days.  They’ve been a whole lot more receptive than I thought they’d be.  The athletes are here, but kids these days have so many other choices, so you really have to do a good job of recruiting them to play.

“I firmly believe that God gives His toughest battles to His strongest soldiers.  We just have to change the mindset from the past.  We wanted a new look and that’s why we bought new jerseys and new helmets,” Teague continued.

“All I’m looking for is a group of young men who are willing to run through a wall for you.  I’m willing to play anybody if we have committed players like that,” he said, knowing that his team will be on the road for its first four games, including Baylor, Stratford, Loudon and Hixson.

“It’s been a good experience so far, but I knew what I was walking into before I applied for the job.  These kids are no different from those at any other school.  They just want to be loved.  If we can show them that we care about them, they’ll do anything in return.

“All of these young men want to be successful on the football field, but there’s an awful lot of work to be done.  I want to build this program from the ground up.  We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores, but we have some big, strong kids.  My goal is to be .500 or better.  I’m realistic, but I don’t want a losing record,” he continued.

“I know that defense wins championships.  I’ve made a name for myself by coaching defense and I know what causes the most problems for opposing defenses.  We’re planning to run a no-huddle offense, but right now, we need more depth on the line and we have to speed things up a bit more,” he said, visualizing in his head what the possibilities could be when his kids reach that point.

“This is my dream job.  God has blessed me with an opportunity.  I just want to accomplish something many people told me I couldn’t do.  There’s a reason I was brought here and I’m excited about it,” he concluded.

Mark Teague has a tremendous challenge in front of him, but he knows that anything is possible with a strong faith and hard work.

He just hopes that the young men on his team will quickly buy into that philosophy.

Wednesday: District 5-AAA Media Day.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Nashville Predators Win Western Conference At Home, Will Play For Stanley Cup

The Nashville Predators became Western Conference champions Monday night at Bridgestone Arena, defeating the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 of the series. The final score was 6-3, with Preds Centerman Colton Scissons recording a hat trick in the game that will lead Nashville to their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history.  Despite the fact Anaheim lead the Preds for shots ... (click for more)

Holley Earns Low Pro Honors At Windstone

Tad Holley shot 69 Monday and earned low-pro honors in the Chattanooga Chapter TN PGA Pro-Am at the Windstone Golf Club. Monday's Results Low Professional: 1st: (69) Tad Holley 2nd: (70) Robin Boyer Professional Skins: #1 & #11 Brandon Merritt, #7 & #14 Tad Holley Low Amateur: (71) Matt Hadden & Jay Potter Amateurs Skins: #1 Jess Lee, #4 Mike D Johnson ... (click for more)

Woman Found In Trunk Of Wrecked Car In Hixson Had Been Shot Multiple Times

A woman whose body was found in the trunk of a car after a wreck on Norcross Road in Hixson on April 7 had been shot multiple times, it was testified on Tuesday. Charges that included criminal homicide were bound to the Grand Jury against  Joshua Mincy, 25. He was also charged with aggravated assault, tampering with evidence, possession of a firearm (convicted felon), ... (click for more)

Defense Attorney Wants To Take Jury To Scene Of 2015 Deadly I-75 Crash

Erin O'Leary of the public defender's office said Tuesday she wants to take the jury in the Benjamin Brewer case to the stretch of I-75 where six people were killed in a 2015 crash.   Judge Don Poole said a written motion should be filed on the request.   A jury will be picked on June 12 in Davidson County for the trial of the truck driver charged in a deadly ... (click for more)

Tennessee Business Expansions On Rise Across State

In 2016, Tennessee was named State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine based on project totals and the variety of industries that invested in the state and created jobs. To a great extent, Bradley and Polk Counties have benefited from that investment.   From February 2015 to February 2016, Cleveland/Bradley County led the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Public Defender And The Mental Health Court

I am holding in my hand a list of the names of 50 very real people who cost the taxpayers of Hamilton County a combined $3,037.090 in incarceration charges before July 2015. These people live in our county and I dare say it is not completely their fault that they were put in the county jail. Each has a professionally-diagnosed mental illness and today, most regretfully, the County ... (click for more)