Ooltewah High School football coach Shannon Williams has resigned.
"He has a wonderful opportunity in Florida," school principal Mark Bean said Wednesday afternoon. "I can't say enough great things about Shannon as a teacher and a football coach."
Williams put together a 21-14 record in three seasons and led the Owls to the third round of the Class 5A playoffs in 2012.
"He stepped in behind a legend (Benny Monroe) and our football program is better because of having Shannon as our head coach," Bean said.
Williams is headed to Walton High in Defuniak Springs where he will be an offensive assistant.
"It was more of a location thing than anything else," Williams said. "My wife and I often vacation in that area and I knew if we got this opportunity that we'd probably go. I didn't know if I would get another opportunity or when, but this is a great place. This is the toughest decision I've ever made."
In his first year replacing Monroe, Williams suffered through a 4-6 effort, the school's first losing season in nine years, but the following two seasons yielded playoff appearances and records of 8-4 and 9-4.
"I'm happy to have had the opportunity to work with him for three years," Bean said.
Said Williams: "I think the program is in pretty good shape."
Bean indicated that Ooltewah would begin the replacement search immediately.
"We'll be making phone calls and going through the process with the central office and we'll get the best football coach we can find," he said.
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 ...