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New head coach for Pisgah football

New head coach for Pisgah football

In a rare split vote, the Haywood County School Board approved the hiring of a new head football coach for the Pisgah Bears — Rick Brindley.

“We believe his commitment to excellence will not only elevate our football program, but also contribute to the overall spirit of unity within the Canton community,” said Pisgah High School Principal Clint Conner.

Brindley graduated from Pisgah in 2001 and comes to Pisgah most recently from his position as head football coach for Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva. He has been coaching the Mustangs for six seasons, and just became the school’s athletic director in August.

“I want to thank Mr. Conner and the entire advisory group for selecting me to be the new head football coach at Pisgah High School,” Brindley said in his address to the school board. “It is a humbling honor and one that I do not take lightly.”

Prior to his work at Smoky Mountain, Brindley worked as assistant football coach at Pisgah.

“We will strive for greatness on the field, and off the field we will build relationships that transcend football, that bring these young men into their adult life to face any adversity they may see,” said Brindley. “With great appreciation I thank you and I look forward to doing the absolute best that we can to make our town and our community proud.” 

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Conner worked together with an advisory committee to find the right person for the job.

“I’d like to give a special thanks, first of all, to my advisory group for their countless time and dedication throughout this process. I hope as Pisgah High principal I never have to go through this again,” said Conner. “It’s very interesting to hire a football coach at Pisgah.”

Conner also thanked Pisgah students and the broader Pisgah community for their patience throughout the whole process.

“Get ready for an exciting chapter in Canton football under the guidance of our new coach,” Conner said. “I support you 100%.” 

Brindley is replacing Brett Chappell, who resigned from his position as head coach in November after 10 years with the Bears.

At the Jan. 16 school board meeting, Superintendent Trevor Putnam presented his usual personnel report and recommendation to the board. However, at the board’s request, two items were pulled out of the rest of the group to be voted on separately. Generally, the school board votes on the personnel report, which includes several hirings and separations from employment, with one vote for the entire report.

“We pulled as requested employment item number 22 and staff coach item number two,” said Putnam in his report to the board. “So those will be pulled to be voted on separately.”

The board approved the personnel package unanimously. However, when it came time to vote on hiring Pisgah’s new football coach, the vote was five to three with Marla Morris (Crabtree/ Iron Duff), Stephen Kirkpatrick (Fines Creek) and Logan Nesbitt (Waynesville) voting against. Board members did not discuss their reasoning.

“Congratulations Coach Brindley and go Pisgah nation, though it pains me,” said School Board Chairman Chuck Francis, a Tuscola alum.

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