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Staff file photo / Matt Moody, right, an assistant on Bradley Central's football staff for eight seasons, including the past three as offensive coordinator, has been hired as McMinn Central's head coach.

McMinn Central's administration wasted little time finding its next football coach.

On Thursday, just 10 days after Derrick Davis said he was stepping down, the school announced it has hired Bradley Central offensive coordinator Matt Moody as head coach.

"We wanted to make a move quickly because we were on a time crunch with the season so close, but we also wanted to make sure we found the right guy to lead the program, and luckily for us Coach Moody fit every criteria we were looking for," athletic director Brent Masingale said. "Besides his knowledge of the game and the weight room, he's very energetic, so he will bring a lot of enthusiasm to the program.

"Also he's someone who knows the importance of building relationships. In a small community, that's one of the most important things you can have as a coach."

Davis stepped down after two seasons with the Chargers to accept an offer to join the Rhea County staff as a defensive assistant. McMinn Central had gone 1-19 in the two years before Davis took over, and the Chargers have finished with a winning record just once (2014) in the past 11 seasons. Under Davis, the Chargers finished 3-7 in both seasons.

Moody, a 2005 graduate of McMinn County, has worked on the Bradley Central staff for eight years, including as offensive coordinator the past three seasons. The Bears scored 35-plus points in seven of 12 games last season.

"My goal my entire life has been to have the chance to be a head coach," Moody said. "This is a really good opportunity to build a successful program, and I'm excited to get started.

"The timing of it is the only bad thing. Just the fact that we're already past spring practice and play in a couple of months, so there's not as much time as you'd like to get in there and start working. But what I learned at Bradley is you build your program on having strong relationships, so that's the most important thing for us to start doing."

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

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