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Randy Douglas is quite familiar with the scenery on the road from Signal Mountain to Bryan College.

As the head coach for the women's soccer team at Point University, an NAIA program in West Point, Georgia, Douglas routinely wakes his players up on that part of the trip to Dayton, Tennessee. As a former Bryan assistant who also spent 14 years as a player and a coach at Tennessee Temple, Douglas still loves seeing the area — even if it does come at the end of the Skyhawks' four-hour trip from near the Georgia-Alabama border.

This summer he'll have more opportunities to see the Scenic City as head coach of the Chattanooga Football Club women's team, which has been relaunched after a four-year hiatus. Chattanooga FC announced his hire Friday, a little more than a month before opening the season with a road match against the Nashville Rhythm FC on May 22.

CFC and Nashville are in the Women's Premier Soccer League's Southeast Conference, along with Alabama FC, North Alabama FC and TN Force FC.

"A lot has happened in the world since then," Douglas said of the CFC women's team's time away. "The realism in the reality of this is that there's four other teams in that division that are looking at us right now and thinking, 'Do they have their act together?'

"When I get there, I think the thing that I want to establish first and foremost once we have the team set is like, I'm not really interested in how necessarily the final score is right away as much as the work rate, because I know that if we put the people in the right places and we work hard enough, we've going to give ourselves those chances. I'm going to have the mentality of, 'Let's work hard. Let's get the people in the right places and see where that takes us.'"

In a news release, Chattanooga FC CEO Jeremy Alumbaugh said it was important for the club "to bring in someone with a steady hand who can help us relaunch the women's program the right way. In terms of establishing a strong, positive culture, and strong performances on the pitch, Randy is a home run, and we are thrilled to have him."

Douglas has spent the past 21 seasons at Point — formerly Atlanta Christian College, the school changed its name in 2011, a year before moving from East Point to West Point — compiling a 155-216-33 record that includes an 11-8-1 mark in 2021. In that time, the Skyhawks have played in five National Christian College Athletic Association national tournaments, four at the Division II level and one at the Division I level.

The school's transition period a decade ago was also one for its athletic program with the move to the NAIA. Douglas was named the Appalachian Athletic Conference coach of the year in 2016, the same year the Skyhawks' Celly Ruiz was selected as the AAC player of the year and an NAIA All-American.

Amanda Moore, a member of the CFC Women's Advisory Council, is one of the Chattanooga-area high school coaches familiar with Douglas. She's the head coach at Northwest Whitfield in Tunnel Hill, Georgia.

"I have had nothing but positive experiences with Randy and always try to send players to continue their soccer careers with him," Moore said in CFC's release. "He is a class act, and I would send any of my players to play for him."

CFC's schedule currently has eight matches, including four straight home dates at Finley Stadium in June, with the conference playoffs in early July. The team has tryouts scheduled for April 22 and 24.

"I'm just looking forward to the summer. You know, it's going to be different — a lot different than any other summer I've had," Douglas said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge, and hopefully things will work out in a way that's beneficial for everybody."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3.

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