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Staff file photo by Robin Rudd / Former South Pittsburg football coach and athletic director Vic Grider is the new AD at Dade County.

Dade County High School has added two coaches with championship experience to its athletic staff.

Former South Pittsburg football coach and athletic director Vic Grider has been named Dade County's new athletic director, and Kevin Templeton, who has coached at both the high school and collegiate levels, is the Wolverines new boys' basketball coach.

"To have two men who have had a personal impact on my own life — I began my coaching career working for Coach Grider and played for Coach Templeton in college — made this an exciting opportunity," Dade County principal Brent Cooper said. "I know what they can do for the kids they invest in.

"I know winning isn't everything, and I'm more concerned about the bigger picture of developing young people, but these guys have been successful wherever they've been. They know what it take to compete at a championship level. To have that experience they can share with the rest of our staff will be a positive for us."

A member of the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame, Grider spent 22 years as the head football coach at his alma mater, compiling a 232-54 overall record at South Pittsburg with state championships in 1999, 2007 and 2010, and runner-up finishes in 2009, 2011 and 2020. He was the defensive coordinator for the Pirates' 1994 state title team and also worked as the school's softball coach and as an assistant principal during his time there.

Grider and his father, the late Don Grider, are the winningest father-son coaching tandem in Tennessee high school football history with 424 combined wins.

"I know some people will wonder whether Coach Grider will work with our football program, just because of his history, but I can go ahead and put that to rest," Cooper said. "Our program is in very good hands with coach Jeff Poston, and we're very proud to have him as our long-term football coach.

"Besides that, our school system doesn't allow administrators to coach athletics. Coach Grider is aware of that and comfortable with moving on to a new chapter of his life."

Grider, who was a defensive assistant last season with another northwest Georgia football program, Coahulla Creek, will also serve as an assistant principal at Dade County.

"I'm a small school, rural community kind of guy," Grider said. "There are a lot of similarities in the schools, the students and communities here at Dade and South Pittsburg. It's a good fit for me, and I'm excited to get started."

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Staff file photo / Kevin Templeton, whose decades of experience includes time at Tennessee Temple Academy and Soddy-Daisy, has been hired as boys' basketball coach at Dade County.

Templeton has 41 years of coaching experience at the prep and college levels, beginning in Lima, Ohio, where his Temple Christian program won five straight state championships from 1985-89. He then led Tennessee Temple Academy to Class A state tournament appearances in 1992 and 1998, finishing runner-up in the second appearance when the Crusaders lost by two in double overtime. He was named the state's coach of the year after the 1992 season.

He went on to lead Tennessee Temple University to a National Christian College Athletic Association national championship in 2003 and later returned to the high school ranks, where he guided Soddy-Daisy's boys' team to a district championship in 2009.

"What attracted me to the job was just the leadership at the school. It's the people," Templeton said. "I have a peace about this move because the people I will be working for and the kids we'll be working with are a good fit for me.

"Also, I'm not going into a mess. The previous coach established a great culture for the program, and I believe we will be successful. I don't just like to win, I need to win. That may be a character flaw, but I'm just very competitive, so I am energized about getting started and seeing what we can do."

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

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