Oak Ridge football coach moving back to Middle Tennessee

Oak Ridge High School football coach Scott Blade has resigned and is moving back to Middle Tennessee, where he will coach at Independence High School south of Nashville.

Blade has coached the Oak Ridge Wildcats since 2009, compiling a 35-15 record. He resigned Thursday, ORHS Athletic Director Mike Mullins said.

Mullins said Blade’s parents live in Franklin in Middle Tennessee, and Blade came to Oak Ridge from Hillsboro High School in Nashville. In addition, his wife received a job promotion in the medical field, and Independence quickly hired Blade.

“It was a job opportunity that he just couldn’t turn down,” Mullins said.

He said Independence is a new high school that has about 1,900 students in Thompson’s Station. By comparison, Oak Ridge High School has about 1,350 students.

Blade led the Oak Ridge Wildcats to the playoffs each of the four years he was here. Last year, the team finished the regular season 9-1, the best since 2005, and the Wildcats were undefeated in the district and district champions. The team finished 10-2, losing to the Maryville Rebels in a second-round playoff game.

Before coming to Oak Ridge, Blade led Hillsboro to a Class 4A football championship in 2008.

Mullins said Blade improved the Oak Ridge program in his four years, brought back discipline, and left the program in good shape.

“He laid a good foundation for Oak Ridge football,” Mullins said. “He put us on the right track.”

Mullins said the high school is still “early in the process” of replacing the coach, trying to draft a job description and post the position, possibly early next week. But the school is already receiving inquiries from potential candidates, and people are sending applications and resumes.

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