Silverdale Baptist Academy announced Wednesday that Jon Massey has accepted the position as the Seahawks’ head baseball.
Massey comes from coaching the Ooltewah Lady Owls’ softball program to a 180-45 record over five years, including three appearances and two third-place finishes in the TSSAA state tournament. He also coached the Owls’ baseball team for five seasons and a 79-46 record, including a then-school record 35 wins (against six losses) and was ranked sixth in the state.
Massey also served as an assistant baseball coach at Cleveland State Community College.
“I’m happy that I’m getting a chance to teach and coach at Silverdale,” Massey said Thursday afternoon. “It will be a little different teaching from public school, but you still have to get the kids do their work and learn. It’s all about getting them an education and I believe we can accomplish that.
“In terms of baseball, Silverdale has really nice facilities and has had a very successful program over the years and I’m certainly not going to try and reinvent the wheel. It’s already a good program.”
Massey will teach in Silverdale’s Instructional Support department. He taught special education during his 17 years at Ooltewah. His coaching breakdown was five years with softball, seven in baseball and 13 with the football program. As the freshman football coach, Massey had a 92-28 record and three of his teams posted undefeated records in 2006, 2008 and 2015.
From 2014-18, the Lady Owls’ softball team posted records of 28-11, 40-10, 41-6, 33-10 and 38-8.
Massey attended Ooltewah High School and signed with Tennessee to play baseball under coach John Whited. He played two seasons with the Vols and finished his athletic career at Birmingham-Southern. He earned his B.S. in Sociology at Tennessee-Chattanooga before completing his Master of Education in Special Education at Lee University.
Massey and his wife, Stephanie, are members of Silverdale Baptist Church and are active at the North Ooltewah campus.
A press release from Silverdale read: “Massey brings to Silverdale a history of player development and a proven track record of winning. We are equally excited that he and his staff will continue to move forward with our vision statement of preparing young men to be warriors for Christ through our core values and discipleship, excellence and integrity.”
Massey, who agreed to the deal with Silverdale officials Wednesday afternoon, said it was no big deal for him to change from coaching softball to baseball.
“It shouldn’t matter at all,” he said. “If you have knowledge of the game and surround yourself with good assistant coaches, the results should reflect that. We want to produce the best people and baseball players that we can.”
From 2013-18, the Seahawks were a combined 118-54.
Silverdale’s high-water mark came during an outstanding 2013 season when it went 29-4-1 and reached the Class 1A state tournament. The Seahawks claimed district and regional tourney titles and beat Trousdale County in the sectional to earn a spot in the state.
Coached by Jonathan Adcock at the time, the Seahawks beat Rockwood and Decatur County Riverside to open state play. Decatur came back to crush Silverdale, 18-1, and the Seahawks rebounded with a 6-2 victory over Decatur and roared into the state championship game against Friendship Christian.
The Seahawks were trying to become the first Chattanooga team to win a Class A state title since Lookout Valley won it all in 1977. However, Friendship’s Brennan Swindoll threw a seven-hit shutout and the Commanders walked off with a 4-0 victory that clinched their second championship.
In 2016 and 2017, Silverdale won district and region tourney titles and lost in the sectional round. In 2015, the Seahawks lost in district and region championship showdowns and lost to Goodpasture in the sectional. The previous season Silverdale was eliminated from postseason play by South Pittsburg in the region title game.
Massey said Thursday he has not met with the returning Silverdale players, but that will happen in time.
“I’ll let the Silverdale administration take care of that,” he said. “And when we can meet, I’ll be ready to meet and get to know the coaches and kids, and we’ll get to work on baseball and get those kids to learning. It’s all about them getting an education and I’m sure we can accomplish that.”
(Contact Larry Fleming at email@example.com and on Twitter @larryfleming44)