published Friday, December 13th, 2013

Vic Grider won't coach Coahulla Creek football program

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    Vic Grider.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
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Just four days after agreeing to become the new head football coach at Coahulla Creek, Vic Grider has informed school administrators he will no longer take the job.

Whitfield County Schools Superintendent Dr. Judy Gilreath told Grider by phone Thursday that a portion of the supplements he was promised would not be made available for the position, leading him to opt out and remain at South Pittsburg High, where he is an assistant principal, athletic director and softball coach.

"Choosing a new job can be a life-changing decision for anyone to make," Gilreath said in a press release. "We understand Coach Grider’s decision to pass on this offer and appreciate his consideration."

Gilreath added that the reason for Grider's decision was “due to a misunderstanding about the total amount of supplements that would be available for this position.”

In addition to his salary as a school staff member, Grider, who won three state titles in 16 seasons as South Pittsburg's head coach, was to receive a $7,500 athletic supplement, the same amount paid to each of the head football coaches at Whitfield County's three high schools. Additionally, after Grider had turned down the school's original offer last week, administrators came back with a second offer that included a large lump sum besides his regular allotted supplement, and was told he could bring in as many as eight assistant coaches. But once Dr. Gilreath called Grider to inform him those incentives would no longer be part of his deal, the coach decided to stay put.

“I can't really put into words how disappointed I am over this,” Grider said. “It was a punch to the gut when I got the call that the deal I was promised wasn't there. I was really excited and had already put in a lot of work to put together a great staff and had big plans for the program.

“The good thing for me is that I wasn't looking for a job when I got the call originally, so I can stay here and keep working at a place I love. But ever since I got that call and was told the deal I was promised wasn't there anymore, the whole situation has been really upsetting.”

Grider had been pursued by the Coahulla Creek committee, after having 36 other coaches apply. According to Dr. Gilreath, the job opening will be posted on the Whitfield County Schools website and the search for a coach will continue.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 23 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including nine in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation at the Associated ...

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