The DeKalb County Board of Education approved personnel items impacting the Crossville High School coaching staff during Tuesday night’s meeting in Rainsville.
Miles Holcomb, who teaches math at CHS, was hired as the school’s new head football coach. He succeeds Brian Clowdis, who submitted his letter of resignation early this month.
“It’s exciting,” Holcomb said. “I was on pins and needles all day [Tuesday]. It’s a dream come true.”
Holcomb is a former Crossville player who was a member of the inaugural football squad at Shorter University. He returned to the faculty and coaching staff at CHS in the spring.
Holcomb and his wife, Kayla, have a 3-year-old son, Kanon. Kayla Holcomb is a third-grade teacher at Crossville Elementary School and a junior varsity assistant volleyball coach at CHS.
Randy Peppers, who represents Crossville on the DeKalb County Board of Education, said Holcomb has the support of the players, booster club and community.
“The kids are behind Miles, and the community is behind him,” Peppers said. “I like his enthusiasm. He’s full of energy and we need that right now.”
Brad Bruce, a former Crossville quarterback who has been teaching and coaching at Sardis, was hired to teach physical education at Crossville Middle School. He will be a member of Holcomb’s first staff at CHS.
Clowdis resigned his classroom position Tuesday night. He received his teaching tenure in the DeKalb County School System in May.
Clowdis accepted a job at Spring Garden, where he will teach English for students in grades 7-9 and also serve as an assistant football coach.
Holcomb had been serving as the Lions’ acting head coach since Clowdis informed the team in June he was stepping down.
“That was a blessing in a way because we’re not behind putting a staff together with just a week before school starts,” Holcomb said. “I believe we have one of the best staffs that’s been here in a long time.”
Offensively, Bruce and Frank Posey will be co-coordinators. Bruce will coach quarterbacks while Posey coaches outside receivers.
Will Brock will serve as running backs coach, and Jake Peek will work with inside receivers. Holcomb is going to coach the offensive line.
“Getting Jake was a big pickup,” Holcomb said. “He’s a basketball guy, but he played receiver for us.
“I talked to him and said I’d love for you to help us. I told him when we’re playing basketball, I’ll be the first person in the stands and be heckling the officials.”
Defensively, Miles Keith will be the coordinator and coach the secondary. Donny Stevens will be the line coach while Danny Smith will coach linebackers.
“We brought Danny back on board last [Tuesday] night,” Holcomb said of his uncle. “Danny said when you become official, I’ll be official.”
Smith is a former Crossville assistant who also served as the program’s interim head coach in 2005.
The DeKalb County BOE hired Keith and Posey in June.
“We’ve been blessed that things kind of fell into place in a way I never imagined they would fall into place,” Holcomb said. “I couldn’t be more happy.”
Holcomb and his staff will be charged with leading the Lions into their first season as a Class 5A program. They won only three games during Clowdis’ three seasons as head coach from 2013-15.
Crossville’s last winning season was a 6-4 finish in 2010.
“There was some uncertainty going into the summer,” Holcomb said. “At one point in time we had 11 guys show up for a workout, and that was scary just to tell you the truth. Now, we have in the 30s on a consistent basis showing up and working their tails off.
“They bought in, and they said we’re tired of losing and we’ll doing anything you or the other coaches ask us to do. You can’t put into words how much that means to me and the other coaches. We have a bunch of good kids, and I believe anything is possible.
“I know the stigma attached with us. I’m the ninth coach in 14 years and I understand that aspect of it, but when you have kids like Trystin Bowling, Alec Allen, Ganon Pointer and Cole Cotton, they’ll find a way to get it done, whether it’s working in the weight room, conditioning or whatever you’re doing. You can’t put a price tag on that.”
The DeKalb BOE also approved the transfer of Stanley Williams from Crossville Middle School to Plainview Elementary.
Williams had been an assistant basketball coach at Plainview the last two years while teaching at Crossville.