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Eric Ford talks to Lookout Valley basketball players during a game in January. After five seasons as coach of the Yellow Jackets, Ford has resigned because he will teach — and possibly help coach — at Ooltewah starting next school year.

Eric Ford has resigned as boys' head basketball coach at Lookout Valley High School after five seasons. Ford will transfer to Ooltewah High in the fall to teach and possibly help coach.

"This has been my home for most of my life so it wasn't an easy decision," said Ford, a 2003 Lookout Valley graduate. "But it's an opportunity that doesn't come around very often to work at one of the biggest schools in the county. You always want to see what your abilities are and influence more kids in a positive way and this will allow me to be around a lot more kids.

"We had a lot of special players who made good memories together during my time at Lookout Valley but what I'm most proud of are the relationships I developed with the kids. Trophies are nice, but it's really all about the kids."

Ford took over a Yellow Jackets program that was struggling and helped turn it around. After winning just five games in the season before Ford took over, the team won 16 in his first season and reached the region tournament each of the last two seasons, winning a combined 35 games.

"Eric did a good job for our program and we hate to see him leave," said Lookout Valley athletic director David Dinger. "He did a lot of things outside of just basketball that we'll miss.

"The plan is to open it up and find the right fit as far as a teaching position and see who applies for the job now."

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

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