Central High School will begin looking soon for its sixth head football coach since 2000.
John Allen, the Purple Pounders' coach for the past three seasons, tendered his official resignation Monday.
"He resigned today following the loss in our playoff game Friday evening," Central principal Finley King said in a release Monday afternoon. "[The program] made tremendous strides in improving our athletic department physically and financially. Under his leadership, with the help of alumni and supporters, we were able to renovate our football steam, weight-room facility and locker room. Landscaping and visual improvements surrounding our athletic facilities were upgraded also during his tenure."
The Central coaches since 2000 were Curt Jones (2000-04), Bo Campbell (2005-06), David Barger (2007-09), Sam Montgomery (2010) and then Allen (2011-13).
"It's bittersweet," Allen said of his decision. "You know we coaches have egos. You never know whether or not you're going to fit with a program. I set a personal goal for us to be competing at a high level by the third year. For whatever reason, I don't think 5-5 is competing at a high level."
Central was 3-7 in his first season and 2-8 last year.
During Allen's tenure the locker room and weight rooms were renovated, another set of uniforms was added, the scoreboard was replaced and upgrades were made to the stadium, specifically the press box.
"I've worked hard. I think everything is right financially, academically and equipment-wise," he said. "Maybe there's a better fit for me somewhere."
While he resigned his football position, Allen will remain at the school for the time being as a teacher.
"I haven't been in contact with anyone, and no one has been in contact with me," he said. "I may take some time off. I will definitely take some time and see what comes open and whether it's a position I'd be interested in. I might become an assistant somewhere. I have worked hard for three years to get Central squared away, and I feel it's in better shape than when I got here."
King expressed gratitude for the coach's efforts.
"Coach Allen has definitely been a positive addition to our teaching and coaching staff," the principal said. "He will certainly be missed, and we wish him much success in his future endeavors."
Allen returned the compliment.
"Mr. King has been a great guy to work for, and Gary Fomby, the athletic director, has been really good to work with," the coach said. "Mr. King loves Central and [my decision] has nothing to do with them."
King said he would begin advertising the position and putting together an interview panel as soon as he receives the go-ahead from the school system's central office.
Contact Ward Gossett at email@example.com or 423-886-4765.
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 ...