Jason Simpson and Justin Rascati stay in contact.
This week their conversation is a little different with their football teams preparing to meet Saturday night at Finley Stadium.
Rascati, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offensive coordinator, and Simpson, a former UTC offensive coordinator who is UT-Martin's head coach worked together when Rascati was a wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at the Ohio Valley Conference program during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He spent last season as the offensive coordinator at Tennessee Tech before moving to UTC in January.
"I consider Justin a good friend," Simpson said during Tuesday's OVC teleconference. "I enjoyed working with him; he's a good person from a good family. I root for him — not this week, but I root for him. We're very similar in our philosophies; he's a very good coach, and we had a lot of success while working together here."
Rascati said he's still good friends with a number of coaches on the Skyhawks staff. Those include Derek Carr, who after a season at Tennessee Tech (with Rascati) has gone back to Martin and assumed Rascati's old post of wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator, and Kevin Bannon, the UTM offensive line coach and offensive coordinator.
Rascati said he and his former colleagues are "ready for this game to be over with" so they can start talking about schemes and X's and O's again, as they typically do during the week.
"Coach Simp is definitely a mentor of mine, and I look up to him," Rascati said. "He's won a ton of games and done a great job with the offense over the years. I'm excited to get to the game, but we're ready to start sharing ideas again."
UTC injury report
Senior running back Richardre Bagley and senior linebacker Tavon Lawson both practiced Tuesday. Bagley, one of the Mocs' primary backs, was recovering from an injury suffered against Jacksonville State and missed last week's game against LSU, while Lawson — who is second on the team with 19 tackles — went out with an injury against the Tigers and did not return.
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.