Dewayne Wells, who built a playoff level football team at Campbell County High School, has accepted a job as defensive coordinator at Morristown East.
Wells will be reunited with East head coach and offensive coordinator Dwayne Hatcher, whom he coached college ball with at Cumberland and Tusculum.
“We go way back,” Wells said during an interview on Friday.
The pair first coached together at Cumberland College in 1986.
Wells, who has been out of coaching since being let go from CCHS following the 2010 season, has been waiting for a chance to get back on the sidelines. He will teach business classes at East.
“You don’t realize how much you miss it when you are not involved with it,” Wells said.
“I was very selective in the jobs I looked at. I wanted to go somewhere where I felt very comfortable. Dwayne has been there six years, and they’ve been to the playoffs every year.
“There were lots of coaching opportunities last year, but I felt like it involved more than just myself. In the best interest of my family, I felt like I needed to wait for the right opportunity to come up.
“Finding someone that’s loyal and going to a solid school system…it’s exciting to be able to work together again. We’ve been reminiscing a lot.”
The last time Wells was head honcho on defense was at Twiggs County (Ga.) High School, where he coached three years before coming home to his alma mater CCHS.
Wells coached 10 seasons at Campbell County. During that period, he led the Cougars to their first winning season (7-4 in 2004) and three playoff appearances (’04, ’07, ’08).
“I always tried to prepare our kids (at CCHS) for life after high school,” Wells said.
“High school is not the end. I always asked them where did they see themselves in five or 10 years, in specific terms and not general terms.
“Coaching kids is very rewarding. The impact you have on kids is the big thing about coaching.”
Wells went through two weeks of spring practice with the East staff and players. He is now involved with the summer conditioning and weight program.
“It feels so good to be back out on the field again,” Wells said.
“They lost a lot to graduation, particularly on defense.
“We are getting to know each other. It’s a new start and a new beginning for them and me.”