|Satterfield hired as Sequoyah football coach
Author: Corbitt Hollingsworth: The Monroe County Advocate
Sequoyah High School has filled its vacancy for the head football coach, but it has not come without controversy.
Bill Satterfield, best known for his time coaching Greenback, was officially introduced as the Chiefs’ new football coach on Friday afternoon.
Satterfield replaces Ronnie Summey, who was released as the Sequoyah head coach a little more than two weeks ago.
Satterfield, who also will assume the role of athletic director at the school, knows of the controversy surrounding the hire, but is looking forward to the challenge.
“I think it’s in the best interest of the guys that we move the program forward,” said Satterfield.
The controversy arose after former assistant coach and athletic director David Gregory said he was told to make the hire of a new head coach, along with Sequoyah principal Maurice Moser.
According to Gregory, another coach was on his way Wednesday for a second interview when Monroe County Schools Director Mike Lowry informed him to cancel the interview and that Satterfield would be offered the job.
Satterfield did not immediately commit to the job and met with each of the remaining five assistant coaches at Sequoyah on Thursday to discuss their futures with the football team.
However, all five assistants informed Satterfield they would not remain a part of the program if he took the job.
In a separate meeting that night, all five coaches stuck to their original position.
The assistants met with the Sequoyah players after meeting with Satterfield for a second time and individually informed the team of their decisions and reasoning.
Following a players-only meeting, Satterfield was given the opportunity to talk to the players about his career and aspirations for the team.
However, at the end of the meeting, many players removed their belongings from their lockers and placed their equipment in a pile before walking out of the locker room.
Several players, assistant coaches, and players’ parents then went to the School Board meeting, where the players had an impromptu meeting with Lowry following the School Board meeting.
Just when it seemed that the situation had blown over, the players, parents, and assistant coaches surrounded Lowry to question him about the way in which the search for a coach was conducted.
The group questioned Lowry for nearly 20 minutes, but the only reasoning Lowry gave was that he “did the hiring and firing for the schools.”
One of the biggest questions the group had was how Satterfield became a candidate for the job.
Satterfield had applied for the job on three different occasions when the same job opened in the past, with the latest application coming last year when Summey was hired.
However, Satterfield did not submit an application or resume for this opening.
Lowry said Friday the school system kept that information on file and it carried over for this hire.
Lowry also said he never recruited Satterfield and he talked to Satterfield after learning he may be interested in the position.
One of the key issues parents and players had was why Lowry got involved in the coaching search.
“Due to the controversial issues surrounding the Sequoyah High School coaching situation, as director of schools, I did step up and take an active role in the selection of a head football coach at Sequoyah High School,” said Lowry in a prepared statement. “I, along with Principal Maurice Moser agree that this is the best route to take for our school at this time.”
Moser said, “We care about the kids at Sequoyah. He is our coach and I will back him.”
It is unknown what Satterfield will teach at Sequoyah, but Lowry emphasized the school system hires for teachers and assigns the coaching duties afterwards.
Satterfield has several certifications and neither Lowry nor Moser expect any trouble finding an area for Satterfield to teach.
Gregory was not fired from the school system and Lowry said he will be reassigned if he chooses to stay.
However, when contacted on Friday evening, Gregory said he has already begun looking at other coaching opportunities.
“It’s nothing personal against Sequoyah. I just can’t work for that man on Oak Grove Road,” said Gregory, referring to the Central Office.
Satterfield will be faced with filling his staff quickly, as fall drills start in a month and a half.
Satterfield has compiled a 194-76 record in his career, dating back to 1971 when he started with Lenoir City.
After a stop in Vonore, he won the 1987 Class A state championship with Greenback.
Satterfield’s most recent stop for football was with Grace Christian in Knoxville.
Sequoyah assistant football coaches, players quit