Richard Henderson has been hired as McCallie’s strength and conditioning coach.
He replaces Brian van Fleet, who accepted a similar position at Ensworth High School in Nashville.
“You’re always excited to surround yourself with good people, and we’re excited about Richard being here and the influence he will have on the boys here,” McCallie athletic director Bubba Simmons said.
Van Fleet is originally from Nashville, Simmons said.
“It’s home for him. He had done a great job, but when he decided to move we had a position to fill,” Simmons said. “Richard is from Chattanooga and he’s very qualified, and we thought it was a great fit.”
Henderson has a degree in exercise science from Tennessee and a master’s degree in human movement with a concentration in sports conditioning from the A.T. Still School of Health Science.
He most recently has worked at East Hamilton.
“I wasn’t looking to leave, but I am so very thankful for the support I received from the coaches during my time at East Hamilton. They gave me autonomy with their programs,” Henderson said. “Coach [Ted] Gatewood would head the list [of supporters]. He gave me an opportunity and mentored me, and without that opportunity I wouldn’t be where I am coaching-wise. You get so connected with people that [moving] is tough.”
Henderson will handle all facets of strength training and conditioning for McCallie athletics and said he was already comfortable at the school although he won’t start officially until Monday.
“From the beginning of the process,” he said, “the people I have met here and the standards athletically and academically were too much to say no to. The character of the kids and the people welcoming me and trying to help me have been unbelievable. Once you’re here for a day, you feel you’re already a part of the school. They’re about working hard here; you’re going to work for what you get, and I want to be a part of that.”
Gatewood, East Hamilton’s football coach, will assume the duties Henderson had.
“I’m excited about it and looking forward to it,” Gatewood said. “We’re going to put our foot to the pedal and keep on moving.”
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...