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Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ First year head coach Derrick Davis instructs his offensive line during the scrimmage. The McMinn Central Chargers visited the Tyner Rams for a football scrimmage on August 6, 2019.

McMinn Central football coach Derrick Davis has informed the school's administration and the team that he is resigning at the end of the current school year.

Davis, who has coached the Chargers for two seasons, has accepted an offer to join the staff at Rhea County, where he will work as a defensive assistant.

"The timing is hard because we're right here near the end of the school year and I hate that because the school has been good to me," Davis said. "But I know they'll find a good coach to come in and take my place and the program will be fine.

"This decision came down to needing to have fewer things on my plate right now. With all the things that come with being a head coach, it's a constant grind and this was a good chance to take a step back for a little bit and just concentrate on coaching kids and not all the extra things that go with running a program.

"Everybody knows the amount of support Rhea County's program has from its community and that's something that appeals to me, to be at a place where football is so important. Hopefully I can help them win some games too."

McMinn Central now joins Tyner as the only area programs searching for a new head coach with just over three months remaining before the season kicks off.

Prior to coaching at McMinn Central Davis turned his alma mater, Polk County, from a struggling program into one of the area's most consistent winners. A 1990 Polk County graduate, Davis took over his alma mater in 2000 and in his second season guided the Wildcats to nine wins for the program's first winning season in eight years. That was the first of 13 straight winning seasons, a stretch that included the program's first undefeated regular season (2009) and five region championships.

Davis, who also coordinated the Wildcats defense throughout his time as their coach, guided the 2009 team to six consecutive shutouts. The program reached the playoffs in 14 of his 19 seasons and he compiled a 123-88 overall record.

However he was unable to duplicated that success in two seasons at McMinn Central, finishing 3-7 in both years there and failing to reach the playoffs. Davis inherited a Chargers program that had gone 1-19 in the two years before he took over and has finished with a winning record just once (2014) in the last 11 seasons.

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

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