It was an opportunity that Richie Wessman couldn’t pass up.
Wessman has resigned at Ravenwood after just one season to become the head football coach for the Roma Grizzlies, a semipro team in Italy.
Ravenwood assistant coach Andrew Elrod has been tabbed as the interim head coach for the Raptors
“It was a great year and there are tremendous people at Ravenwood and it is a very special place,” Wessman said.
“I will always fondly remember my time at the school and I know there will be a lot of success at Ravenwood moving forward, this is an opportunity of a lifetime for me and my wife to be near my family in Rome.”
This will be the second consecutive January that Ravenwood will endure a football head coaching search.
The Raptors started slow under Wessman in 2016 after he took over the program from Will Hester but Ravenwood finished the regular season at 5-5 and made the Class 6A playoffs.
“Working closely with Coach Wessman, we were able to assemble a very impressive coaching staff this year. We ended the season strong and we look forward to continuing in the same fashion this spring, under the direction of Coach Andrew Elrod as an interim coach. We will begin our search for a new head coach immediately. We sincerely wish Coach Wessman all the best in his new football coaching career,” Ravenwood principal Pam Vaden said.
The Raptors posted back to back playoff wins over Houston and Mt. Juliet before falling to Cordova in the Quarterfinals to finish the year at 7-6.
Before coming to Ravenwood, Wessman served as the recruiting coordinator and quarterbacks/wide receiver coach for Division II college University of Minnesota Crookston as well as being a the Quality Control coach focusing on offense for the Tennessee Titans (2009-13).
Wessman played college football at Southern California as a quarterback under current Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll for two seasons (2000-2001).
After graduation, he was an offensive assistant for the Trojans for two seasons (2004-05) as USC won the national championship in 2004.
There are currently 14 programs looking for a head coach they are: Ravenwood, Hillsboro, Whitwell, Clarksville Northeast, Rossview, Creek wood, Ripley, Grace Christian Academy, Glencliff, Carter, Unaka, ECS, Brainerd and Loretto.
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More information at TN High School Football