Gaddis tabbed to fix up Peabody football program

Gaddis tabbed to fix up Peabody football program
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
A self-described Mr. Fix-It has been given the Trenton Peabody football restoration project.
Joe Gaddis, a 29-year veteran who has extensive rebuilding experience, was named the new head coach of the Golden Tide today.
Peabody principal Tim Haney confirmed the hiring to The Messenger this morning and said the new coach was chosen from a field of 70 applicants — 17 of whom are current head coaches at other schools.
Gaddis will come to Trenton from Lexington, N.C., where he spent the past two seasons after a six-year stint at Henry County. He also has been the head coach at Tullahoma, at Oak Ridge — where he lead the Wildcats to the 1991 Class 3A state championship — and at schools in Mississippi and Alabama.
He has a career coaching record of 248-108.
Gaddis replaces Peabody alumnus Kent Scott, who resigned at the conclusion of the 2011 season and an eight-year stint that saw the Tide go 43-47 during than span.
Trenton’s last winning season and best under Scott came in 2007, when Peabody advanced to the Class 2A state semifinals — avenging regular season losses to rivals Milan and Westview along the way — to finish 10-4.
Haney, an ex-coach himself who led Trenton to its best-ever season in 1991 when Peabody finished as the Class 1A state runnerup, was widely-considered in today’s coaching community as a major reason the Tide job was an attractive one. New on-campus facilities that included an impressive stadium opened last year were also a major positive, according to several unnamed coaches to apply for the position.
“I don’t know about that,” Haney chuckled when speaking to The Messenger this morning. “What I do know is that it was a stressful process (hiring a new coach). We were overwhelmed with the number of quality applicants we received and I spent the entire Christmas break interviewing people. I guess that’s a good problem to have, though.
“It (Gaddis’ reputation for rebuilding) was not initially part of the things we considered. It was his reputation and history of coming into a program and making things better immediately. His ability to turn things around was just a bonus to him simply being a very good football coach.”
Haney, who interviewed 22 candidates, said the makeup of Gaddis’ staff is still an ongoing process, but that he would likely bring at least one assistant with him.
The 58-year-old Gaddis left Henry County in early 2010 after six seasons in which he posted a 53-23 record and led the Patriots to three straight state semifinal appearances. He joined ex-HCHS principal Rick Kriesky at the North Carolina school.
Upon taking the position in the Tar Heel State at that time, Gaddis claimed, “I like to build programs.”
His past record is proof of that as his first head coaching job at Tullahoma in 1983 he led the program to a 38-20 record in five seasons after it had gone 7-23 in the three years prior to his arrival.
Gaddis went 18-18 during the early part of his time at Henry County before winning 35 of his last 40 games there.
He was 119-24 in 11 seasons at Oak Ridge, including a school-record 14 victories in the 1991 state title season.
Gaddis compiled an 11-13 mark during his two years in Lexington and was to tell his team there this afternoon of his intentions to leave, according to Haney.
He is scheduled to meet with his new Peabody squad on Friday afternoon and will be at the Trenton-Union City basketball game Friday night, at which time he will be introduced to the public.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 1.19.12

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