Former Ooltewah football coach Mac Bryan hired at LFO

Staff file photo / Former Ooltewah coach Mac Bryan is returning to the Chattanooga area's high school football scene. He was introduced Friday as the next coach at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.

Former Ooltewah High School head coach Mac Bryan was introduced as the next leader of the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe football program Friday afternoon.

Bryan, who has worked at various levels of the sport in a career that began in the early 1980s, replaces Bo Campbell, who resigned last month after going 19-51 in seven seasons.

Bryan has been the head coach at Avery High School in North Carolina the past four years, compiling a 10-29 record before resigning in December. Before that he led Ooltewah to a 45-16 record in four seasons, taking the Owls to the TSSAA playoffs each year and winning three region titles. He has an overall record of 161-142-1 as a high school coach.

Bryan's hiring has been approved by the Catoosa County Board of Education, and the veteran coach met his players Friday.

"It's good to be back," Bryan said. "We left four years ago, and I had some family things in North Carolina. Those situations have changed a bit and my daughters live in Chattanooga and I've got grandkids here, so this is where I need to be."

Bryan also has extensive college experience, including a stint as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga from 2001-03. The Appalachian State University graduate was the head coach at Lees-McRae College for five seasons beginning in 1986.

Before the college discontinued the sport, Bryan took the team to five consecutive bowl games and was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 10 coach of the year three times. His 1987 team was ranked No. 1 and played for the NJCAA national championship.

Bryan will assemble his staff in the coming weeks, and as of now he plans to utilize the GHSA's option for football programs to skip spring practices in order to gain a second preseason scrimmage.

"I'm fortunate to be at LFO and I am impressed with the administration," he said. "It's a good staff here and I hope a lot of the current coaches want to stay with us.

"We're going to work as hard as we can to improve the program. With me coming in late, I will be back and forth until I can get back here full time, so I think it might be best to keep the weight program going strong and get started in the summer and try to get those two scrimmages in."

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.