Oakes turns Jellico program over to Lawson

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By Dwane Wilder

  Longtime Jellico High School football coach Danny Oakes stepped down last week and handed over the reins to Brad Lawson, who served as defensive coordinator last season for the Blue Devils.

The announcement was made Friday night during Jellico’s Basketball Homecoming.

Lawson is a 2010 graduate of the University of the Cumberlands, where he played linebacker for the Patriots. He was a student assistant at UC in 2009 before joining the Jellico staff last fall. He teaches U.S. History and economics at JHS.

“Our ultimate goal is to be playing in December (for a state championship) in Cookeville,” said Lawson.

“We know that’s not going to happen overnight. We’re just going to work hard and do everything we can do to build the program back up.”

Brent Foley, another UC grad who coached with Lawson last year at Jellico, will be the Blue Devils’ offensive coordinator. Foley was a coach in the Williamsburg, Ky. School system.

Jellico alum Thomas Collins will coach special teams and kickers for the Blue Devils. Lawson hopes to complete his staff soon with one more assistant coach.

“We want to stay local…someone who would care about the program,” said Lawson.

The Blue Devils last had a winning season (6-4) in 2007. Jellico finished 2-8 last fall and won a total of four games during the last three years. Lawson hopes to change that mindset.

“Like anything else, Rome wasn’t built in a day,” he said.

“But we have some young coaches, full of energy and eager to work.”