The longtime SEC defensive coordinator coaching middle school football

in Sports

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Twirling his whistle furiously, John Chavis instructs one of his linebackers to get wider.

“Line up right there on his foot,” Chavis barks. “Let’s run it again. On the hop. Let’s go!”

It’s reminiscent of the way the man they call “Chief” coached football for 30 consecutive years in the SEC from 1989 to 2019, including the past quarter-century as a defensive coordinator at four different schools.

Only now, instead of coaching Tyrann MathieuJamal Adams and Al Wilson, he’s a volunteer on the West Middle School team in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Chavis, who turns 64 later this month, is quick to note he’s not even the defensive coordinator — just an assistant.

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