Tyner names Scott Chandler as head football coach

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Scott Chandler, right, who resigned at Ooltewah in February after three seasons as the Owls' head football coach, has been hired by Tyner to lead its program.
Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Scott Chandler, right, who resigned at Ooltewah in February after three seasons as the Owls' head football coach, has been hired by Tyner to lead its program.

Tyner Academy has named Scott Chandler its head football coach.

Chandler was the head coach at Ooltewah the past three seasons before stepping down in February. He takes over for Tyrus Ward, who resigned in late April - just one month after accepting the job leading the Rams.

Chandler guided the Owls to an overall record of 16-16 after being promoted from defensive assistant before the 2018 season.

"The first thing that would have any coach interested in this program is just how successful they've been through the years and the tradition they have," Chandler said. "You look around at all the region championship plaques and start realizing how many playoff runs they've made, and you just say 'wow.'

"Then again, I know we have to continue that tradition now."

Chandler inherits a program that has won 16 region titles and reached the playoffs 27 times in the past 30 seasons, with those postseason runs including three state championship game appearances and the Class 2A title in 1997.

When Ward stepped down, it was just before the team was to begin spring practices, and he said at the time it was a decision that would allow him to pursue "other coaching options." Ward, who had taken over at Tyner for legendary former coach Wayne Turner, has not yet joined another coaching staff.

Turner resigned at the end of last season after guiding the program for 30 years.

photo Staff photo by Robin Rudd / Scott Chandler, left, talks with quarterback Kyrell Sanford before Ooltewah's home game against Soddy-Daisy on Sept. 21, 2018. Chandler, Ooltewah's head coach the past three seasons, said he's excited about taking over at Tyner.

"We played Tyner twice when I was at Ooltewah, and the amount of talent they have in such a small school is what stood out even then," Chandler said. "They always play hard and they play the game the right way, and that was a reflection of how Coach Turner ran the program. I'm honored to be able to follow a coach like him here.

"We're three weeks behind getting to know the kids, so the relationship factor is bigger than the on-field football stuff to me. But we'll get busy working with the kids right away and we'll get there."

A 1981 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe graduate who later graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chandler worked as a graduate assistant at Kansas State when Bob Stoops was the defensive coordinator there. Chandler has also been a college assistant at Valdosta State and Emporia State and a high school assistant at Rhea County, Trion and Gordon Central, where he also coached boys' basketball before coming to Ooltewah.

Besides his three seasons as head coach at Ooltewah, Chandler also led the program for three years at Georgia's Coosa High School, where he compiled a 20-15 overall record and two trips to the playoffs, which ended a 15-year postseason drought for the Eagles.

In Chandler's first season at Ooltewah, he guided the Owls to a 9-3 record and the second round of the Class 6A playoffs.

"I am so excited about this hire because Scott brings experience and passion to the job, and that will go a long way to benefit our kids," Tyner principal Gerald Harris said. "It was unfortunate in regards to what happened with Coach Ward, but things happen for a reason, and Coach Chandler will hit the ground running and the community will see his passion for working with kids."

Chandler's hiring leaves McMinn Central and Sequatchie County as the only Chattanooga-area high school football programs currently looking for head coaches. Both of those jobs became open earlier this week.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.