Meigs County names Simbeck as new football coach

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd /  Meigs County named former Boyd Buchanan offensive coordinator Nathan Simbeck as its new head football coach on Tuesday.
Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Meigs County named former Boyd Buchanan offensive coordinator Nathan Simbeck as its new head football coach on Tuesday.

Nathan Simbeck has known he wanted to be a head football coach since shortly after his own high school playing days ended.

He earned that chance on Tuesday when Meigs County named Simbeck as its new head coach.

"When I was a high school senior, thinking about what I wanted to do with my life, I sort of realized that I wanted to impact other kids the same way my coaches had for me," said Simbeck, a 2012 McMinn County graduate and multi-sport athlete. "I was involved in a car wreck that ended my playing career but (McMinn County) Coach (Bo) Cagle helped me out by allowing me to work with his staff and ever since then I knew that's what I wanted to do."

Simbeck takes over the Tigers just one month after the job became open when Tommy Bunch stepped down after one season to take over the Sweetwater High program. Bunch guided Meigs to an unbeaten regular season and a 12-1 overall finish last year that included a Region 3-3A title.

"We're really excited because he's a local guy," said Meigs County superintendent of schools Clint Baker. "Even though he's from Meigs County, he played just up the road so he already knows about our program and our community. We want someone who's going to be here for a while.

"We had a lot of qualified coaches who were interested in the job, but what Coach Simbeck has done already in his career is very impressive and having those local ties helped us feel even more comfortable with him. He's been at some really good programs and worked for several great coaches who highly recommended him as not only a good coach but also a good person."

The 30-year old Simbeck worked with his alma mater for five seasons — including as offensive coordinator in 2019 when the Cherokees averaged 34 points in a 9-2 season. That was followed by three years at Knoxville Central and the past two seasons as offensive coordinator at Boyd Buchanan under legendary head coach Gary Rankin, where he helped the Buccaneers finished as Division II-AA state runners up, averaging 36.4 points per game.

"Before I started working for him, I never really knew Coach Rankin," Simbeck said. "I learned a lot in those two years on his staff. Just his organization and attention to detail and player development. He's always looking at the future, how you're developing your young kids and he's always looking at the big picture and making sure every player is getting coached.

"I've always thought Meigs County is a really special community that cares about its football program and I want to work to continue the success they've had," said Simbeck, who added that his plan is to keep current Tigers offensive coordinator Bryson Baker and defensive coordinator Jesse Smith in those roles, which will also allow him to oversee the entire program instead of focusing on just one side of the ball.

"There are good coaches already in place on the staff and I know their kids have always been tough competitors. All of that, plus there's a ton of local support from the community, makes this a great place to be a football coach."

Contact Stephen Hargis at

  photo  Contributed Photo / Nathan Simbeck, the new head football coach for Meigs Country, on Feb. 13, 2024.

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