Geoff Courtney Takes Over at Farragut

By Mark Nagi

When Eddie Courtney stepped down as the head coach of the Farragut Admirals the first week of March, the Admirals knew that there would be some big shoes to fill. Courtney won 204 in 28 years as Farragut’s head coach, including the 2016 state championship in Class 5A.

Well, the Ads didn’t have to look very far. On March 22 they promoted Geoff Courtney, Eddie’s son, to the head coaching position. Geoff had served as the Ads offensive coordinator since 2017.

“Farragut High School and the football program in particular has a reputation to it,” said Courtney. “People know you are going to compete against the best when you play Farragut.  It’s a place that has a lot of resources, due in large part to coach (Eddie) Courtney and his work, and also goes to the administration, the staff, the community. We have a lot of great kids that come up through our feeder program.  It is a great school that wants to do well.”

Geoff Courtney played for the Admirals and graduated from Farragut in 2006. He’s been on the FHS coaching staff since the 2010 season.

“It’s been a part of me,” Courtney said of his alma mater. “I’ve been around the program my whole life, outside the four years I spent at UT and one year as a grad assistant at Carson-Newman.  I’m a product of this community and this program and the school itself.  I was fortunate not only to have my father’s leadership but many other coaches on staff. They were influential in my life, and I just wanted to continue that on to the next group.”

He added, “You are constantly learning and being in an environment where you are constantly challenged.  I never really looked to leave or go anywhere else.  I have had a couple of opportunities where people have inquired the last few years but never really took any of those opportunities too seriously, but I was never looking to leave.”

Geoff Courtney was an assistant coach in a variety of roles on the Farragut coaching staff under his father and plans to lean on what he’s learned from Eddie Courtney during his time on the sidelines.

“He’s encouraged me to be myself,” Geoff said of his father. “But I’ve always had my own philosophies and how I want to get things done. He said to lead by example. He was always doing the grunt work and the administrative work, coordinating bus routes, lining off the field… I think when kids and your staff see that and know how much you care and how hard you work, they will want to give you the same in return. But I do plan to do things a little differently.”

Last season the Admirals had their struggles. They went 4-6. Despite finishing the season with wins over rivals Hardin Valley and Maryville they missed the Class 6A playoffs due to an unkind Region tiebreaker.

Still, Courtney is excited about the future of the program.

“We are only bringing back seven starters,” said Courtney. “There are going to be a lot of young, new faces. Even last fall, they were fairly success in freshmen and JV ball.  It opens it up to a lot of competition at key positions. We will have a new QB to break in. On defense we will have new linebackers and two new defensive ends, plus a new corner to break in.”

The Admirals are set to begin spring practice on April 24, the first official practice with Geoff Courtney in charge.