WEST ALEXANDRIA — Tyler Cates, Twin Valley South’s former varsity football coach, was officially approved for the head coaching vacancy at rival Covington during a board of education meeting on Thursday, March 17.
The scenario is all-too-familiar for South, who saw Covington’s former coach, Dave Miller, leave the Panther program and ended up heading the Buccaneers team in 2007.
Cates heads over to the Cross County Conference foe after three seasons on South’s sideline, compiling an 18-11 record. He took over a team that averaged three wins in the four years prior to his arrival.
He and his staff never saw a losing record at South though, going 5-5 in his first season, 7-2 in his second, and 6-4 this year – including two victories against Covington.
“I really can’t thank the Twin Valley South administration and the West Alexandria community enough for giving me the opportunity to do two things I love and am passionate about – that’s to teach and coach football,” said Cates. “Fortunately they took a chance on me and gave me my first head coaching position. The community has always been supportive and the kids, I absolutely loved and continue to love to be around until the end of the school year.”
It was a very difficult decision, he added, but ultimately one made to advance his career and move closer to his family.
Cates also acknowledged that that caliber of a position doesn’t open up very often and he is excited to join Covington’s storied program.
“They made me feel like I would fit in great and we were on the same page of what they wanted out of a head coach and what I wanted to accomplish. Our philosophies matched up well and it just feels right. We both want to win championships and build these boys’ characters to become impact men on society as well as getting the job done in the classroom,” he said. “I’m excited, but next year will be tough going against South – a piece of my heart will always be with them.”
South’s Athletic Director Tony Augspurger is also thankful for Cates’ contributions to the football program.
“We appreciate Tyler’s commitment to our kids and our program over the past three years. We are sorry to see him leave, especially to a CCC rival, but we recognize the fact that Covington has been the best football program in our league over the last 15-20 years,” said Augspurger. “We wish him the best of luck, and we’ll see him back here at TVS for week number nine.”
South is currently searching for someone to fill the Twin Valley Community Schools’ head coaching vacancy.
Reach Jeremy Erskine at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.