Rhea County hires Mark Pemberton

Rhea County hires Mark Pemberton

April 12th, 2013 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Mark Pemberton, currently at Brentwood High School, has been hired as the football coach at Rhea County.

Rhea principal Jesse Messimer confirmed the move Thursday afternoon.

"He has a heck of a resume -- wins and losses, where he's been and what he's accomplished," Messimer said.

Brentwood reached the Class 6A quarterfinals last season, finishing 11-2. Pemberton also had championship finals appearances and a state title during his time at Knoxville Catholic. He has a career coaching record of 163-69 with two decades of coaching experience.

However, he has held four positions since his 2008 Catholic team went 15-0 and won a state title. He has since been at West Laurens in Dublin, Ga., and at Macon County.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't have concerns," Messimer replied when asked about Pemberton's history of moving around. "But in sitting and talking with him, I get the feeling the area of reasoning has come to him. There's more to it than moving around."

Pemberton has history in and with Rhea County. He was the Golden Eagles' offensive coordinator for two years under Jason Fitzgerald, who now is at Hixson.

"He's just a stone's throw from where he was raised (Roane County), and he married a girl that was born in Dayton," Messimer said. "More importantly he understands our history, where we've been and where we want to go."

Pemberton replaces Doug Greene, who resigned to take the defensive coordinator's position at Ooltewah.

Rhea last had a winning season in 2008 under Fitzgerald.

Pemberton is scheduled to be at Evensville today to meet with players and coaches.

"His duties begin today, at least to a point," Messimer said. "He won't go on the payroll until July, but we believe he'll be able to work it out to be here for spring practice. The administration at Brentwood will have to work with him on that."

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765.