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January 28, 2014

Shinlever is Bearden's choice

Bearden principal Dr. John Bartlett looked near and far before finding a head football coach to replace Brad Taylor, who resigned after the 2013 season.

On Tuesday around noon, a snowfall in Knoxville changed Dr. Bartlett's plans to introduce his selection at a basketball game scheduled for later in the evening by announcing that Bulldogs athletic director/assistant principal Morgan Shinlever was Bearden's head football coach.

After interviewing applicants from as close as Knoxville and as far away as West Virginia and Georgia, Shinlever was Bartlett's choice.

"I'm very grateful for the opportunity and we are going to hit the ground running and setting our expectations high, as well as holding our players accountable," said Shinlever.

The first time head coach is a graduate of Maryville High School and Maryville College. While at Maryville High he played linebacker on the Rebels 1998 4A state champion squad and the 1997 4A state runners-up.

Shinlever hopes to implement his brand of football in 2014.

"Certainly not being critical of what we have done in the past, we will be a disciplined football team on and off the field," said Shinlever. "We are going to play for a full 48 minutes. We will play with a heightened enthusiasm that fans, family and the players can be proud of.

"Any time a new coach takes over there are things that are going to be done differently," he continued. "Ideally, this will all translate to an even better performance on the field."

Shinlever said the 2014 Bulldogs will have a spread offense look with the read option, along with other variations mixed in.

"Obviously, we will have to evaluate our players and adjust to their strengths," he said. "Our number one priority is to put our kids in the best scenario for them to be successful."

Shinlever, who will step down as the Bearden athletic director, said he plans to get his staff in place as soon as possible, but no later than the end of February.


"I've enjoyed being an administrator, and very grateful for the opportunity, and I wish I could continue it," he said. "However, my heart and desire has always been to be a head football coach."

Shinlever plans to put the type of team on the field that the Bearden faithful can be proud of for a long time.

"Now and throughout this first year, we want to put a good quality product on the field," he said. "By year three, we want to be consistently at or near the top of the district. By year five, I expect us to be 'The" program' in Knox County and one that is recognized across the state as a high quality, competitive football team."

Shinlever came to Bearden in 2006 as an assistant football coach. During that time From 2006 to 2013 he has been a part of the most successful run in school history, with the Bulldogs winning close to 70 percent of its games.

Coach Shinlever is married to Julie Ford Shinlever, a fourth grade teacher at West Hills Elementary School, and has one child, Davis Shinlever.

Morgan is the son of John and Linda Shinlever of Maryville and Julie is the daughter of longtime Tennessee sports information director Bud Ford, who retired in 2012


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