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Gretchen Hammel, shown coaching the Grace Academy girls' soccer team in September 2015, will head up the new professional women's soccer team being started by the Chattanooga Red Wolves Soccer Club. Hammel previously played for the Chattanooga Football Club's women's team and later became general manager of the CFC women.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, with more information.

Chattanooga Christian School has named Gretchen Hammel as its new girls' soccer coach. Hammel, will also will help coach the middle school boys' program, had previously coached for 11 years at Grace Academy, including the last nine as head coach.

"Grace has been my family my whole life, so this was not an easy decision," said Hammel, a 1996 Grace graduate. "But through prayer and consideration with my family, we felt it was the best decision for us.

"I'm excited. Grace has been a great experience for me and my entire family, but this is a fresh start and a positive step because I will get to help CCS transition to the larger (TSSAA) Division II classification. It will be an adjustment, but it's one that I'm looking forward to."

Hammel played for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and later was an assistant coach at UTC. She has played for the Chattanooga Football Club women and the Tennessee W-league and served as general manager for the CFC women and currently with the newly formed Lady Red Wolves.

"CCS is excited to see Gretchen take over as our girls' coach," said school athletic director Daniel Russell, who added that Hammel will work with CCS soccer in grades four through 12. "Her experience both as a high-level player and coach will help us continue to develop our strong girls' soccer legacy here. She understands well what it takes to develop a program from fourth grade through 12th grade.

"She will be instrumental in developing our players' soccer IQ and skill development, so we can build a strong program on the boys' side, too. It's vital that your best coaches are involved in coaching instruction all the way down to your youngest athlete."

Russell said the school is continuing its search for a new boys' head coach.

"Our goal is to find a strong teacher and coach before the end of this spring," he added.

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

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