Jesse Harris has decided to step aside as boys' soccer coach at Lenoir City High School.
"I have enjoyed being the head coach of the soccer team for the past six years," Harris said. "But now I'm at the point where I want to focus my efforts solely on my chosen profession of teaching."
Harris, who teaches history at the high school, put together a 55-40-18 record with the Panthers and said he would "not rule out a return to coaching if the school ever needed me to fill a position."
The position will be handed over to Santiago Correa, who is currently on staff as a Spanish teacher.
"Correa has been teaching at the high school for the past two years, and he is a qualified coach who will bring a renewed passion to the program," Harris said.
Athletic director Greg Boling said he is excited about the transition.
"Jesse did a great job for us; coached here for a long time," he said. "It's being turned over to very capable hands."
Correa has an extensive history with soccer.
"I've been playing my whole life," he said. "I'm from Ecuador. I played semi-pro in my country, I played college level in my country, I was in soccer minor leagues in my country. I'm 35, so I've been playing for almost 30 years in soccer. Pretty much, for the last 10 years I've been coaching, since I moved here."
That coaching has included the FC Alliance club team in Knoxville, which has been one of the more successful club teams in East Tennessee. Now, he said he excited to fill the position at Lenoir City.
"It's a great group of kids that know how to play soccer. Like everything, I think it needs a change," Correa said. "That's my goal, change a little bit of the soccer programing in Lenoir City. I cannot say we are going to be state champions. Changing soccer programing in the high school, that's my goal. We are going to work year by year."
In addition to the soccer coach, the school is also seeking a new softball coach, bowling coach and assistant football coach.
Dom Petrozzello was removed from the position of softball coach Monday.
"We appreciate all the hard work and the dedication that coach (Petrozzello) put into coaching the girls' softball team," Boling said. "There's a lot of young talent out there on the field and we hope the new coach can move us forward."
Boling would not go into details of the firing and said he has no timetable for finding a replacement.
"Obviously, I'd love to have someone in place before the end of the school year," he said. "However, we're going to get the very best person out there we can find. There's some talent. We had quite a few young girls playing major minutes at key positions out there on the field."
The football coach the school is seeking to replace is Shane Goodwin, who left to take the position of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Director at Valdosta State University in Georgia.
Chorus teacher Phillips Holloway previously filled the role of bowling coach on a volunteer basis but has decided to step away from the position.
"He did a great job starting up the program last year," Boling said. "We're not sure about the supplement for (a new coach) yet because the school board has not passed next year's budget."