Knoxville Catholic names new football coach

Philip Shadowens, who has 202 career wins, moves from co-interim head coach into the top role for the Irish

Knoxville Catholic High School announced Dec. 19 that Philip Shadowens has been named head football coach of the Fighting Irish.

Mr. Shadowens served as co-interim head coach with Steve Matthews for Knoxville Catholic in the 2023 season. Mr. Matthews was hired Dec. 18 by Concord Christian in Farragut to serve as its football head coach.

Mr. Shadowens brings 29 years of head-coaching experience and a 202-136 won-lost record to Knoxville Catholic that includes winning back-to-back state championships at his alma mater, Smyrna High School, in 2006 and 2007. He was named the 1994 Tennessee coach of the year and Tennessee Titans coach of the year in 2006.

“Coach Shad’s track record of building state-championship football programs speaks volumes. His unparalleled football knowledge and special talent for positively influencing players, students, and fellow coaches set him apart. His genuine passion for the profession, along with unwavering support from his family, makes him the perfect fit for our school and community,” said Jason Surlas, athletics director at Knoxville Catholic.

Mr. Shadowens served as head football coach and offensive coordinator at Eagleton College and Career Academy in Maryville in 2022, compiling a 6-2 record. He held the same two positions at William Blount High School in Maryville from 2015 to 2021, in one season leading the Governors to their first state playoff berth in 12 years.

He also served as head coach and offensive coordinator at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro from 2009 to 2014, going 59-18 overall. In those positions at Middle Tennessee Christian School in Murfreesboro in 2008, he led the program to a 7-4 record and its first-ever playoff appearance.

As head coach and offensive coordinator at Smyrna, from 1993 to 2007, he compiled a 113-55 record. His 2006 Smyrna squad defeated Ravenwood 35-14 for the Class 5A state title, and his team the following year bested Independence 46-20 for another state championship.

Mr. Shadowens’ teams have made the state playoffs 25 times out of 29 seasons and reached the semifinals four times and the quarterfinals in eight seasons.

His coaching honors also included being named The Tennessean’s midstate coach of the year in 2006 and the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal’s coach of the year in 2006, 2007, and 2013. He served as assistant coach for the East and West All-Star Team in 2007 and head coach for that squad in 2008. He was named the Titans’ coach of the week in 2010 and region coach of the year in 2014.

Mr. Matthews also coached at Knoxville Catholic from 2013 to 2020, capturing state titles in 2015 and 2017.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *