published Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Stiles leaves Rhea for East Hamilton

Cara Stiles has resigned her positions as head softball coach at Rhea County High School and assistant at Rhea Middle and has accepted the head coaching positions at East Hamilton High and Middle.

In replacing Holly Hamilton, Stiles becomes the Lady Hurricanes’ third coach in the third year of the program’s existence. East Hamilton athletic director Brad Jackson said because of contract issues he could not elaborate on the job opening.

Stiles said she and her assistant, Hollie Pritchett, who also is going to East Hamilton, had difficulty with the decision. Stiles said the move would benefit her financially in the long run.

“It’s a good school and a growing community,” Stiles said. “We just felt like it was the best decision for us. We’re really excited, but the feeling is bittersweet. We adore our girls at Rhea County. Hopefully we’ll still be able to be in their lives.”

Stiles was hired by East Hamilton principal Pam Dantzler and will teach seventh-grade science.

“The administrative staff is extremely excited that she’s coming in,” Jackson said. “I personally watched her coach three times this year, and the way she coached and the way she carried herself was quite impressive. Her background playing in college at the Division I level (Memphis), and playing for Clifford Kirk at Soddy-Daisy, solidifies what kind of faith we have in her.”

about Kelley Smiddie...

Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or

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