Bill Satterfield retires as football coach; Sequoyah surprised by decision

Football coach waiting for resignation

Jesse Smithey

Bill Satterfield, a longtime football coach in East Tennessee, told the News Sentinel on Thursday he has retired.

Administration at Sequoyah High School, where Satterfield has coached the last five seasons, thinks that is the case but hasn’t been able to make it official.

Either way, the football program has been in a state of shock since late last week when Satterfield announced his intentions to leave the program.

Though he didn’t respond to calls Wednesday and Thursday, Satterfield replied to the News Sentinel’s request for comment with a lengthy text message Thursday afternoon.

“I retired,” Satterfield wrote. “My wife retired last year, and we decided that we wanted to do some things we have put off for a long time.

“We will also be able to travel to see some of my son’s games at Temple University (where he is an assistant football coach).

I had a great five years (at Sequoyah) and I have left the team in good shape.

“This was not a snap decision. I had been thinking about it for some time. It just felt right for me to do at this time. I’m not ruling out ever coaching again. It would depend on the right situation.”

Satterfield added: “I’m retiring on great terms with everyone at Sequoyah.”

Meanwhile, school principals are trying to move forward in the hiring process but can’t. Maurice Moser, who was the principal at Sequoyah High until Wednesday, still doesn’t have the necessary document from Satterfield to complete the resignation/retirement.

“The only thing I can tell you is we’re waiting. He has sent out an email to me, the director and assistant director of schools, and he stated he intended to resign his position as head coach and AD (athletic director). But, you know, legally — until we have a resignation letter in hand — we can’t move forward on anything,” said Moser on Thursday. “That’s basically where we’re at right now.

“I’m still trying to reach Coach Satterfield. I’ve accepted another position in the county. Mr. Gary Cole is the new principal. He was named the new principal yesterday at Sequoyah. So I’ll be turning that over to him. But that’s basically the hold up.”

Satterfield finished 20-34 with Sequoyah, though the Chiefs improved under his guidance to reach the second round of the Class 4A playoffs in 2011 and make the first round last season. He won more than 200 games since starting his career at Lenoir City in 1971. He led Greenback to a Class A state championship in 1987 and helped expedite Grace Christian’s football program in the 2004-05 seasons.

He will be inducted into the Blount County Sports Hall of Fame in November.

His retirement at Sequoyah, though, came as a surprise to Moser, who found out “Thursday or Friday” late last week.

“They had had a great spring (practice) with two great scrimmages against Gibbs and Alcoa,” said Moser. “A veteran squad coming back and a good coaching staff. To be honest, the day that I found out, I had had a busy day. I didn’t check my emails until late that afternoon. I saw an email from Coach Satterfield that didn’t have a subject line. So I clicked on it. And about 3:30 or 4 o’clock that afternoon, that was my first information at all that he was leaving us.”