NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Scott Blade of Independence High School has been named the 2015 Tennessee Titans High School Coach of the Year after leading his football team to a perfect 15-0 season and winning the school's first Class 5A state title.
Blade outscored his opponents 641-171 overall – 220-63 in the postseason, including a 49-14 win over Sevier County in the state championship game. His offense totaled 7,006 yards for the 2015 season, an average of 467 yards per game.
"I am humbled and honored to receive this award," Blade said. "I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work with a tremendous coaching staff and support group. The team came together and played like no other I've coached. I will forever remember this group of guys as a team that was all in."
This year marks the second time Blade has received the honor. He was named Coach of the Year in 2008 after leading Hillsboro High School to the Class 4A state championship title. Blade is currently the only two-time recipient.
"Since the Titans organization began to partner with the TSSAA nearly a decade ago, our broadcast staff members have been encouraged to work with TSSAA telecasts and broadcasts," said Mike Keith, Voice of the Titans. "I got to know Scott Blade while broadcasting his 2008 state championship win with Hillsboro. Since that time, I have followed his success at Oak Ridge, and the way that he has built a program at a very special high school, Independence. In broadcasting the Eagles' victory over a talented Sevier County team in the 5A BlueCross Bowl, I saw team that reflected everything that I know about Coach Blade: tough, smart, unselfish. It is very hard to go undefeated in TSSAA football, but Independence did it while playing a challenging schedule. It is a credit to the Indy players, coaches, students, parents and administration. But it also bears out one important fact: a great head coach can put you over the top. Scott Blade is a great head coach and is very deserving of this award."
Blade's selection as the 2015 Tennessee Titans High School Coach of the Year qualifies him for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award, honoring high school football coaches that display the integrity, achievement and leadership exemplified by the coach with the most wins in NFL history, Don Shula. The Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award winner – announced in January – receives $10,000 and his high school football program is awarded $15,000.
The Titans' High School Coach of the Year award is an extension of the team's High School Game of the Week and Coach of the Week program. Each Coach of the Week (10 total) received a grant from the Titans in the amount of $1,000 to benefit his school's football program.
Through the Coach of the Week program, the Titans have donated more than $190,000 in grant funding to high school football programs across the state.
Blade will be recognized on the field at the Titans vs. Texans home game on Dec. 27.
For more information on the High School Game of the Week and Coach of the Week program, visit www.titansonline.com/gameoftheweek.
Previous Coach of the Year award winners:
1999: Jim Wilson, Glencliff High
2000: Tom Weathers, Red Bank High
2001: Ralph Potter, McCallie High
2002: Robert Lassiter, Gallatin High
2003: Jeff Morris, Milan High
2004: Buck Coatney, Knoxville Fulton High
2005: George Quarles, Maryville High
2006: Philip Shadowens, Smyrna High
2007: Ralph Thompson, Maplewood High
2008: Scott Blade, Hillsboro High
2009: Anthony Crabtree, Beech High
2010: Gary Rankin, Alcoa High
2011: James Counce, Henry County High
2012: Rodney Saulsberry, Whitehaven High School
2013: Darren Bowling, Union City High School
2014: Ingle Martin, Christ Presbyterian Academy
2015 Game of the Week/Coach of the Week
Week 1: Fulton at Maryville / George Quarles - Maryville
Week 2: Union City at Peabody / Darren Bowling - Union City
Week 3: Ravenwood at Centennial / Brian Rector - Centennial
Week 4: Rhea County at Ooltewah / Mac Bryan - Ooltewah
Week 5: Henry County at Clarksville / James Counce - Henry County
Week 6: South Gibson at Jackson South Side / Scott Stidham - South Gibson
Week 7: Independence at Shelbyville / Scott Blade - Independence
Week 8: Franklin Road Academy at Davidson Academy / Bill Whittemore - Franklin Road Academy
Week 9: Munford at Brighton / Robin Jacobs - Brighton
Week 10: Page at Marshall County / Thomas Osteen - Marshall County