The Chattanooga Mocs, preseason favorites to capture the 2021 Southern Conference Football Championship, have added alum and local high school coaching leader Tyrus Ward as defensive backs coach. He replaced David Bibee, who retired.
Ward was most recently the head football coach at Tyner Academy in Chattanooga. That came after a 4-year run (2017-20) rebuilding the program at Brainerd, taking the Panthers to two Class 3A playoff appearances (2018 and 2020).
His first leading role was at Whites Creek in Nashville (2015-16).
Ward has worked in the prep ranks since 2009, beginning his career at Red Bank. He assisted at Brainerd (2010-14) before his first head coaching opportunity arrived at Whites Creek.
“The thing he brings to us coming from the high school level is his ability to relate to those guys coming out,” Mocs head football coach Rusty Wright explained. “He knows what’s going on with them on a daily basis, which helps us in recruiting.”
Ward played wide receiver for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga after a prep career at QB for Brainerd, where he threw and rushed for 1,000+ yards as a senior. He had 59 career touchdowns (46 pass/13 rush) and was a 2-time all-state performer.
He was also an All-American trackster, winning an age 15-16 national title in the 400m hurdles and was state champion in the 300m hurdle.
Coach Wright cited Ward’s experience locally and in the state as key to the addition.
“He knows the area, but he just helps us relate a little better to young people,” Wright said. “He’s been walking halls with kids in high school, understanding circumstances and dynamics they go through every day. He’s also a very knowledgeable football person. He’s just a great young man who’s going to be an asset on our staff. We’re excited at having him here.”
The Mocs are readying for the 2021 fall campaign, which opens on Thursday, Sept. 2, with a visit from the Austin Peay Governors. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627) or online at GoMocs.com. Fans also can go through the GoMocs app available on Android and Apple IOS devices in their respective app stores.