Randy Frazier is no longer the head football coach at Middlesboro High School.
In a surprising move on Friday, Superintendent Steve Martin met with Frazier and the two mutually decided to part ways, according to MHS Athletic Director Bill Jones.
Jones declined to comment on the situation other than to confirm the rumor at Friday night’s basketball game. Martin was unavailable for comment late Friday night.
Frazier said the school “wanted to go in a different direction.”
He compiled a 23-23 record in four years as the Yellow Jacket coach. The team went 4-8 the year before he was hired, then went 6-6 in his first season. Consecutive 4-7 seasons were followed by a very successful 2013. Last year the Jackets went 9-3 and won their first regular season district championship since 2006. They also beat Bell County for the first time since 1997.
“I felt like the things that were asked of us were accomplished. It was a struggle early on, but when you come into a new situation like that it’s tough. In 2013 I felt like we had a good shot to do some things and I think next year’s team will be capable of reaching our goal, which was a state championship,” Frazier said in a phone interview. “I appreciate the opportunity. I had fun for four years.”
Frazier will continue teaching at MHS and he says he plans to continue to follow the football team closely. His son, Cole, is junior linebacker and tight end on the team.
“What I do next is up to my son and daughter. I think my son wants to stay with his friends (at Middlesboro). I’m going to stay and watch him play football his senior year. My daughter plays soccer for the Lady Jackets and right now we don’t have any intentions of going anywhere,” Frazier said. “You don’t know what might happen down the road.”
The 2014 Yellow Jackets figure to be a strong team no matter who the coach is. The team graduated three starters and should have a strong class of about 20 seniors next year.
Frazier added that the toughest part about Friday was how it impacts his son.
“I feel bad for my son, he’s upset. We’ll talk and he’ll get through it. I’ve really enjoyed coaching him,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed coaching all of those kids, I felt like most of them were mine anyway.
“I’m still excited about next year’s football season. I’ll just be tailgating instead of coaching them. I look for great things out of them.”