Knoxville Catholic names new head football coach

By Dan McWilliams

Knoxville Catholic High School named Dean Cokinos as its new head football coach Dec. 22 following the resignation of Korey Mobbs on Nov. 8 after he spent two seasons at the helm of the Fighting Irish.

Mr. Cokinos brings a wealth of football experience from serving as head coach of arena football teams in Washington, D.C., New Orleans, and Atlanta; to international football operations/head coach in Germany; to the collegiate level at UMass, Austin Peay, and West Alabama; and most recently as special teams and linebackers coach at both Brentwood Academy and Ensworth in Nashville.

His head coaching regular-season record is 165-86-1 with an 11-6 postseason record.

“Knoxville Catholic is a special place, and I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the Fighting Irish football program,” Mr. Cokinos said. “There is a solid foundation in place at Catholic, and I’m excited to grow a winning culture and building the Fighting Irish into a top performer in Division II-AAA.”

Mr. Mobbs went 8-12 in his two campaigns. The Irish finished 3-7 in 2022 and in fifth place in the East/Middle Region of Division II, Class AAA. KCHS lost to Christian Brothers 41-27 in the first round of the playoffs.

In 2021, Knoxville Catholic finished 5-5, notching two region wins. The Irish also lost to Christian Brothers in that year’s first round of the playoffs, 28-24.

“We’re thankful for Korey for the time that he spent inside the building and certainly his efforts in leading our football program,” said KCHS athletics director Jason Surlas. “He positively impacted a lot of our kids, and we certainly wish him the best of luck. We’re very grateful for his time here.”

The Fighting Irish play in a rugged region that includes several high-powered football programs.

Some high school sports observers contend the region KCHS plays in is the toughest in Tennessee.

“The region has been difficult since we’ve been in it, with Baylor and McCallie, MBA, and Brentwood Academy, but now we’ve added Lipscomb, which is another one. Just on the East/Middle side of the region it’s a daunting task, but we’ve got the kids here who are going to do everything we ask them to do and run through a brick wall if we need them to,” Mr. Surlas said. n

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