Brittney Garner, who was hired recently by Pickett County, is believed to be the first female head football coach in Tennessee.
She replaces Jeff Holt, who was dismissed last week.
“From our research, we couldn’t find (a female) who has ever been a head football coach (in Tennessee),” said Bernard Childress, executive director of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. “We definitely think it’s a milestone.”
The National Federation of State High School Associations doesn’t track female head football coaches.
“I would say it’s definitely rare and the ones I’ve heard about are probably no more than a handful.” said Chris Boone, a NFSHSA spokesman. “It’s pretty darn rare, for sure.”
Natalie Randolph was believed to be the nation’s only female head football coach when she resigned from Coolidge (Washington, D.C.) in 2013.
Garner, a Pickett County graduate, is the Lady Bobcats softball coach.
Pickett County assistant coach O.B Caudle, who re-joined the team one week ago after resigning as head coach the previous year, said Garner has done a good job so far. She debuted in last week’s 35-12 loss to Stone Memorial.
“She’s doing OK, I guess,” Caudle said. “She’s more of an administrator, more than anything. The rest of us pretty much handle the football stuff and she pretty well handles all of the administration stuff.”
There have been at least two female assistant coaches in the Midstate in the past seven years.
Donna Cobb was in a logistics role with Giles County from 2007-12. She oversaw bus travel and academics in addition to helping the trainer.
Lisa Limper has coached quarterbacks and running backs at Glencliff the past two seasons. She was the running backs coach at Hillsboro from 2010-11.
Dawn Barger became the first female coach to lead a boys basketball team to a state title when she guided Lake County to the 2011 Class A championship.
Pickett County (1-3) has lost its last three games after defeating Clinton County, Ky., in the season opener.