published Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Rutgers' assistant Spence new Chattanooga Christian School football coach

Looking to take the program to a higher level, Chattanooga Christian School has named longtime college assistant Rob Spence as its new head football coach. Spence was the quarterbacks coach at Rutgers University the last two years and has previously worked as an offensive coordinator at Clemson and Syracuse.

"We are extremely excited to have someone with Coach Spence's experience joining our faculty and coaching staff," CCS principal Bryant Black said. "When he applied we wondered why he was interested in making the move from the collegiate level to coach high school, but once he explained how involved he's been with the FCA and his desire to disciple young men in a Christian environment, it felt like a great fit for both sides.

"I would hope this sends a message that we're serious about the direction of our program. It's a different level of investment we're making toward having the best coaching staff in the area."

The 55-year old Spence has been a career college offensive assistant, having also spent time at Temple, Toledo, Bethune-Cookman, Louisiana Tech, Maryland, Hofstra, Holy Cross and Iona. He began his coaching career at the high school level in New York, working as an assistant for three years before becoming a head coach and eventually making the jump to the college level.

In five varsity seasons, CCS has compiled a 13-37 overall record with its best finish coming in 2010 when the Chargers went 4-6 and narrowly missed making the playoffs. They finished 3-7 last season, but the roster was built from around 25 players in the team's first season to more than 50 last year.

"I wanted to go to a place where faith was most important and where I can make a difference in young men's lives and share my faith," Spence said. "It's an exciting transition for me going back to the high school level, where I can have input on so many aspects of the program.

"I love the culture of football in the South, and from the time I spent there, Chattanooga seems like a great place to live. I am thrilled at both the opportunity and challenge to serve the community at CCS."

Hixson's Disbrow resigns

Alex Disbrow resigned as Hixson's boys' basketball coach Friday afternoon, after six seasons with the program.

"I just felt like it was time for me to move on to the next challenge for me," Disbrow said. "I've enjoyed my time coaching at Hixson, but now I'm going to take some time to decide what my next step should be for myself and my family. I may take a year off and spend more time with my wife and child, or if the right opportunity comes along, I may coach again."

The Wildcats finished 6-19 this past season, winning just one game in District 6-AA, and the program last had a winning season in Disbrow's first year (2008-09).

"We appreciate Coach Disbrow's dedication to the program and the school," Hixson athletic director Brian Bray said. "He put in a lot of hard work, and now we'll just have to open it up and hopefully have someone in place in the next few weeks."

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 24 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 seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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