Boyd-Buchanan’s respected football coach resigns – Chattanooga Times Free Press
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Longtime Boyd-Buchanan football coach Grant Reynolds has resigned to accept an offer to take over one of Alabama’s premier powerhouse programs. Reynolds, who has been the Buccaneers head coach 10 years and spent 10 years as a defensive assistant before that, has been named to take over at Huntsville’s Madison Academy.
“It’s been a tough decision for sure,” Reynolds said. “We prayed about it a lot and thought about it a good bit because it’s tough to leave a place that’s been so good to me and my family for such a along time. But this is a chance to really take care of my family and that’s what it’s all about.”
Reynolds, 46, is one of the most respected coaches in the Chattanooga area, having averaged nearly 9 wins per season during his tenure. The Bucs reached the playoffs every year with him as head coach and he helped the program reach at least the quarterfinals in six of the last eight seasons, including a Class 2A state runner-up finish in 2009.
Madison Academy won three consecutive Class 3A state championships from 2012-14. The program will move up to 4A next season and compete in the same region with perennial area power North Jackson. Last year the Mustangs finished 11-2 and lost to the eventual state champions in the quarterfinals.
Madison Academy’s administrative board members officially approved Reynolds’ hiring Tuesday night.
“It means a lot that a program like that would reach out to me and want me to come and have confidence in me to do the job,” Reynolds said. “It also says a lot about the job we’ve done here. The kids and the coaches I’ve worked with are the reason I have this opportunity.
“What really intrigued me was the chance to be at a quality school that puts great emphasis on the academics and spiritual aspect as well as athletics.”
Reynolds originally came to Chattanooga from Louisiana to be closer to his wife’s family. He had planned to work in business, but altered that plan once he saw a newspaper article announcing fellow Harding University graduate Robert Akins was the new football coach at Boyd-Buchanan. In what proved to be one of the best coaching decisions of his successful career, Akins offered Reynolds a job to teach Bible and become the Bucs’ defensive coordinator and in their first season together they guided a program that had never reached the playoffs to the district championship and an 11-1 finish.
“I want to thank Coach Akins for giving me the opportunity,” Reynolds said. “Also I have to thank (Boyd-Buchanan) board members Mike Burroughs and Jeff Keasler as well as president (Jill) Hartness. They’ve been a big support system for me.”
With Reynolds as defensive coordinator Boyd-Buchanan reached the state championship game three consecutive years from 2002-04, winning it in 2003. The Bucs have been among the area’s most successful programs in the 20 years that Reynolds has been on the staff, including last season when they were ranked the state’s No. 1 team in 2A for seven straight weeks and finished the regular season unbeaten. The Bucs won 10 or more games five times under Reynolds.
“I don’t know of anybody that we play on a yearly basis that we have more respect for than Boyd-Buchanan and that’s a product of Grant,” said South Pittsburg coach Vic Grider, whose team has split the last 10 meetings with Reynolds’ Bucs. “They’re always well prepared and fundamentally sound and his kids play extremely hard. He does all the things that good head coaches do and he does it in a classy way and that’s a pretty rare combination in our profession these days.”
Reynolds’ decision leaves five programs in the Chattanooga area now looking for a head coach — Boyd-Buchanan, Central, East Ridge, Howard and Whitwell.
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.