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FHS coach to take Gibbs post

Talent groomed at Bearden and Farragut high schools will comprise the top three administrative positions at Gibbs High School next school year.

Mike Driver, teaching social studies, advanced placement economics and advanced placement government while coaching golf/girls basketball during his 14 years at FHS, is taking over the athletic director’s job and will serve as one of two assistant principals.

The other, Barbara Thompson, joins new Gibbs principal Lynn Hill as former Bearden administrators now at the Northeast Knox County school of about 1,000 students. Thompson served alongside Hill as BHS assistant principals before Hill was elevated to principal in March 2007.

Driver said he got a call “late Wednesday afternoon,” July 9, with the Gibbs offer.

“It’s not something I’d been looking at doing, but I knew that Gibbs was going to have a whole new administrative team,” he said. “I thought it was a good opportunity. A good time in my career.

“Bearden and Farragut working together over there at Gibbs,” Driver added. “As assistant principal you have everything from discipline to parking.”

Because of Hill’s tenure at BHS as athletic director/assistant principal (1999-2007), “He’s a good mentor to work with. … He’s a super guy to work with, I’ve known him a while,” Driver said. “Both of them have a lot of experience in administration. … “This is my first administrative job. The students will be back here in a few weeks, and I’ve got a lot to learn before Aug. 4.”

Driver, 42, said his entire teaching and coaching experience to date has come out of FHS.

“It was a tough decision because I really, really enjoyed coaching,” Driver said. “I’ve been doing it for all 14 years I’ve been teaching, either in one or two sports at a time.”

The former FHS coach said he met with the 2008-09 Lady Admirals varsity basketball team July 9, to announce his plans after seven years as head coach with that program (153-82 record).

He led Farragut girls hoops to the Region 2-AAA crown in 2006, District 4-AAA regular season co-championships in 2002 and 2003, and 4-AAA tournament crowns in 2005 and 2008. Two of Driver’s teams — ’06 and ’08, reached sub-state. He was a varsity hoops assistant the previous four years.

“And trying to let the golf team know,” Driver added eight years as girls and boys golf coach where he led the Lady Admirals to a pair of Class AAA state titles, 2004 and 2006, plus three state runner-up finishes.

His boys teams won six Region 2-AAA crowns, twice finishing third in the state (2000, 2007).

No teaching/coaching replacement has been named, per Knox County Board of Education procedures to properly advertise the FHS opening.

Driver said Wes Edmonds, Farragut girls varsity basketball assistant coach, “is interested in the job, I know he’ll apply for it. I want to help him get a good look at the job.”

A 1984 graduate of Warren County High School in McMinnville, Driver graduated from The University of Tennessee in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and economics. Driver earned a master’s degree at UT in 1993, then earned his educational specialist degree in administration and leadership from Tennessee Technological University in 2001.


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