Lee Daniels replaces Lawrence
It didn't take Lee Daniels long to get started as the new football coach at Lebanon's Walter J. Baird Middle School.
Daniels, 45, and a native of Rochelle, GA, met with players and parents last week and began preseason workouts Monday morning.
Daniels, who played nine years of minor league baseball with the Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves organizations, takes over the football position for Eric Lawrence.
Lawrence has accepted a teaching / coaching position with Wilson Central High.
"I'm really happy we could find an experienced coach like Lee Daniels," said WJB assistant principal and athletic director Bobby Brown."
"He's coached at the varsity and middle school level, he's a high-energy guy who loves kids."
Daniels has coached at football, basketball and baseball at several places -- including a 10-year run at Coffee County High School in Georgia.
His wife is Adrienne Sweat Daniels, a native of Gallatin.
"I promised my wife we'd be on the lookout for a place that was closer to her home," Daniels said.
"I got a good feeling when I met with (Principal) Mrs. (Pam) Sampson. I like everything I've seen about the school and the facilities.
"I met with (Lebanon High) Coach (Sam) Harp and I want to install as much of his terminology as we can.
"But really, it all boils down to fundamentals and discipline.
"I want our boys to be doing the right things in the classroom and on the football field."
Daniels will be teaching eighth grade History at Baird and will also take over the boys basketball program as longtime Junior Blue Devils coach Tim Chappell moves to the girls program.
Chappell coached boys basketball at Baird for 10 seasons, wrapping up the 2016 campaign by winning the Class AAA division of the Haile Invitational Tournament in Murfreesboro.
Chappell remains as the Baird baseball coach.
Preseason football workouts continue at WJB Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m.