Franklin’s Donnie Webb, who coached the Rebels’ defense from 2004-09, spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator at Battle Ground Academy.
“I love Franklin,” Webb said. “It’s like a second home to me, and it’s great to be back.”
This is Webb’s second time to be a head coach. He was 14-37 at Henry County from 1999-2003.
When Webb was at Franklin the first time, the Rebels were the Class 5A runners-up in 2004. They also were runners-up in 2008 under Craig Clayton, whom Webb is replacing. Clayton is the new coach at Hillsboro, another District 11-AAA team.
Franklin players who remember Webb are excited to have him back, especially those on the defense.
“Coach Webb is a great coach,” senior defensive end Zach Bacon said. “He’s more involved with the defense and more hands-on with the players. Coach Clayton was a good coach, but we are happy to have (Webb) back.”
Mark Pemberton, who spent the past two years as the coach at Macon County, is taking over at Brentwood. He replaces Ron Crawford, who left for Cleveland after leading the Bruins to a Class 5A championship (2002) and a trip to the semifinals (2009) during his 10-year stint there.
“This program is a successful program,” Pemberton said. “Other ones I’ve taken over have been programs that have struggled, and I’ve had to go in and tear everything down and build it back up. This program you don’t have to do that.”
Pemberton’s most recent rebuilding project was Macon County. In 2009, Macon County was 0-10. Under Pemberton, the Tigers went 5-6 each of the past two years.
Pemberton spent seven years at Knoxville Catholic, going 78-11 from 2002-08 and winning the 2008 Class 3A title.
Senior quarterback Austin Winfree said Pemberton has brought a good energy to practice.
“He’s really involved with practice and all of the players,” Winfree said. “Him and Coach Crawford have completely different personalities, but sometimes change is a good thing. I’m just really looking forward to seeing how this season turns out.”