Longtime college coach Rob Spence is headed back to the college ranks after spending the last two seasons as the head coach at Chattanooga Christian. Spence, 57, has been hired at the new wide receivers coach at Chattanooga replacing Will Healy who was hired as the new head coach at Austin Peay.
Chattanooga Christian officials wasted little time and have elevated Chargers defensive coordinator Mark Mariakis as the new head football coach. Mariakis, 53, joined the Charger staff this year after spending 11 seasons (2004-14) as the head coach at Ridgeland (GA) where he posted a 72-51 record and led the program to the Class AAAA state title game in 2012 and they won four region titles as well. He also was the head football coach at Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe (GA) for five years as well (1995-99).
Under Spence’s guidance the previous two seasons, the Chargers were 12-11 overall and made the school’s first two playoff appearances. The Chargers made school history this season nipping DeKalb County 23-22 to win their first playoff game before bowing to East Ridge in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs as Chattanooga Christian finished the season 8-4.
“I am indebted to the players, coaches and administrators at CCS for the opportunity to be a part of a special school,” Spence said. “My experience here will be one that I will never forget because of the close-nit and loving nature of this community and UTC is a special place with a combination of talent and great coaching. It is an honor to help a Coach Huesman and his fine staff continue to strive for the pinnacle of FCS football.”
Before being hired at Chattanooga Christian, Spence spent 25 years in the college ranks coaching at Rutgers (2012-13), Bethune Cookman (2011), Syracuse (2008-09), Clemson (2005-08), Toledo (2001-04), Louisiana Tech (2000), Hofstra (1990, 1997-99), Maryland (1994-96) and Iona (1989).
He started his coaching career in the high school ranks as an assistant coach at Memorial (NY) before moving on to be the offensive coordinator at Iona Prep in 1982 before taking over the program in 1984 and posting a 29-19-1 record from 1984 to 1988 before moving to Iona College in 1989.
There are 16 schools that are currently looking for a head coach they are: Jackson County, Karns, Spring Hill, Moore County, Cumberland Gap, ECS, Ravenwood, USJ, Centennial, Father Ryan, Sunbright, Sullivan Central, McNairy Central, West Creek, White County and Westwood.
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