published Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Richard Northcutt named new girls' high school soccer coach at Signal Mountain

Richard Northcutt is the new girls' high school soccer coach at Signal Mountain.

Northcutt previously coached 11 seasons at Soddy-Daisy, helping the Lady Trojans to the state final four in 1997 and 1998. He replaces Pam Shelton, who resigned in January after coaching all four years of the school's existence.

After coaching at Soddy-Daisy, Northcutt spent time as an assistant for the Lee University men's soccer team before taking over as men's coach and sports information director at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens. The former Covenant College star goalkeeper currently coaches the Redoubt FC U-15 girls and U-16 boys and works in the Olympic Development Program, although he will have to discontinue that with his new position.

"It was stressed to me by the new administration at Signal Mountain that poor attitude and sportsmanship isn't going to be tolerated," Northcutt said. "I believe that's the direction they want to go. I'm excited about getting started. It's a little late but that's how it goes."

He inherits a team that has been listed in the Class A/AA state rankings each of the past two seasons. Playing in the same district as perennial powers Chattanooga Christian and Notre Dame, the Lady Eagles fell in penalty kicks in the district semifinals the past two years.

The team's top returning player is Becca Blevins, who was an all-state selection in 2011.

"Normally, when you look for good girls' soccer players, you look for those that play club the rest of the year," Northcutt said. "That helps more than anything else, if they've been doing that.

"We've had no offseason and we're two weeks away from school starting, with a week of in-service in there," he said. "We have to get ready, though, so we'll do the best we can. You've got to get them, see what you've got, take the best 11 and take it from there."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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