It's been over two decades since Tony Linginfelter has been a head football coach.
But on Friday, Linginfelter was named the head coach at Sevier County where he replaces longtime Smoky Bears coach Steve Brewer who resigned to accept a job at the First Baptist Church of Sevierville.
"I was very happy and content at being Steve's offensive coordinator," Linginfelter said. "I would have been very happy to continue to be the coordinator but after applying for the job I'm very excited about the upcoming season."
Linginfelter started his coaching career at Doyle high school (now South Doyle) as an assistant in 1984-85 before joining Bill Horton's Rhea County staff for two years (1986-87) where he coached former Tennessee quarterback Andy Kelly.
In 1988, he came back to Doyle to be the head coach where he complied a 10-10 record over two seasons before coming to Sevier County in 1990.
Two seasons later Brewer came aboard as head coach and Brewer and Linginfelter helped the Smoky Bears become a playoff fixture over the next two decades which included a Class 5A state title in 1999.
The Smoky Bears are coming off an 11-2 record in which they made the Class 6A Quarterfinals and have a 50-10 record in the last five years.
"I think being a head coach before made me a better assistant and now I know what to do and what not to do as a head coach," Liginfelter said.
Liginfelter also thinks that the transition will be a lot smoother not only for himself but for the kids and the assistant coaches.
"Obviously, there won't be a lot of change as far as philosophy on offense but we will change a little on defense," Linginfelter said. "But having the same coaches as well as knowing the kids and their strengths and weaknesses is a big plus for the program moving forward."
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