Hodge comes to MCHS after an outstanding career as an assistant at Henry County and Dresden. His high-energy style will be an asset as he tries to rebuild a program which has suffered through five straight losing seasons, according to McNairy County Director of Schools John Prince. “Chad displays the passion, work ethic and drive that we want for the football program at McNairy Central,” said Prince. “He has coached at two schools which were in low areas when he got there and helped them become shining spots in West Tennessee football.”
Hodge has been an assistant the past few years under his brother Keith Hodge. The older brother left Dresden after this past season to take over as head coach at Murray High, Kentucky.
Chad Hodge has been an Advanced Placement Chemistry and Advanced Placement Biology teacher at Henry Co. High School since 2002.
There were 20 applicants for the position and five of those candidates were interviewed on Monday before the decision was made to hire Hodge. “I will bring an unparalleled work ethic that is second to none,” said Hodge. “I will maximize the potential of every player, build confidence and instill an attitude of hard work both in the classroom and on the field.”
Coach Hodge’s record as a coordinator is 90-27 and his teams were 18-9 in the state playoffs. When Hodge came to Dresden as an assistant, the Lions had been 0-10 the previous season. A native of Bruceton, Hodge has been coaching for 13 years.
Hodge began his coaching career under legendary high school coach Joe Gaddis at Henry County in Paris, Tenn.
The new coach will meet the fans at a Gridiron Association meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in McNairy Central’s Commons.
The Bobcats went into a new coaching search after former coach Charlie Dampeer was informed last month his contract was not going to be renewed for the next school year. Tennessee teachers do not have tenure until their fourth contract is signed and a coach does not have tenure as a coach. Dampeer was 3-7 last season as coach of the Bobcats and was 5-15 in his two seasons on the sidelines for MCHS.