The word assistant can be dropped from Doug Greene’s title, as the former Blue Raider standout has been named as the new head football coach at Rhea County High School.
Having served on the staff of legendary coaches Benny Monroe, Gary Rankin and Ken Sparks, Greene has been looking for an opportunity to step to the forefront for the last few years. That chance came this week after the Golden Eagles job came open a day after it was filled.
Rhea County had initially hired Danny Adams to replace Jason Fitzgerald, who along with his two top assistant coaches resigned earlier this month. Adams resigned after just a day on the job.
A 30-year veteran with a combined 214-118 record while coaching in Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama, Adams most recently went 77-24 in eight seasons at Winfield High School in western Alabama. There was a five-year string of 10-win seasons (2003-07), including 14-1 in 2004 when the team reached the 3-A state championship game.
While Greene is getting his first opportunity to be a head coach, he brings with him an impressive litany of assistant experience.
After playing for Monroe at Cleveland, Greene was a two-sport athlete at Millsaps College, playing both football and baseball. After transferring to Middle Tennessee State University, he was a two-year starter for the Blue Raiders on the diamond.
Entering the coaching ranks, Greene garnered a variety of experience on both the collegiate and high school levels.
Along with working under Sparks at Carson-Newman this past season, Greene also coached linebackers and defensive backs at West Alabama from 2004-06.
On the prep level, he served on Rankin’s staff during his tremendously successful turnaround of the Riverdale gridiron program. Rankin has led Alcoa to the last seven state championships.
While in Murfreesboro, Greene also worked on staff at Blackmon High School.
Before heading to Jefferson City to join the Carson-Newman crew, Greene was an assistant for Monroe at Ooltewah. He was also a candidate for his alma mater’s head job two years ago when Cleveland hired current head coach E.K. Slaughter.
Having played and coached in District 5-AAA, Greene is very familiar with the local football scene. He takes over a Golden Eagle program that went 6-5 last season, including a 35-14 win over Grace Christian in the Battle at Burke-Tarr Bowl in Fitzgerald’s final game.
Greene has stated he recognizes Rhea County is a program with a lot of history which is used to winning. He added with there only being one high school in the county, the Eagles have an avid fan base.
Even though he had a few more interviews still pending elsewhere, Greene felt the Rhea County job was his best opportunity. After making his decision, Greene canceled two interviews in Alabama, plus withdrew his name for the defensive coordinator’s position for Graham Clark at Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett.
Greene will have to hit the ground running, with the Eagles’ opening game against Knox Powell less than two months away. He met with his new team and coaches today, but faces the obstacle of the TSSAA’s two-week coach/player no-contact period which goes into effect Monday.
With some big shoes to fill, Greene replaces Fitzgerald, Rhea’s head coach from 1999 to 2003 who then took two seasons off to spend more time with his son Jackson, who passed away a few months ago.
Returning as the head coach in 2006, Fitzgerald’s two tenures produced a pair of region championships. His teams also reached the state quarterfinals three times, falling to eventual state champion Maryville each time. Fitzgerald had a record of 66-48 with eight playoff appearances.