In 2015, Gallatin will have a different face on the sideline calling its defense. After ten seasons at Gallatin, Green Wave defensive coordinator Mike Settle has stepped down to take a position at White House High School.
“I met Jeff Porter (White House head coach) over 25 years ago,” Settle said. “Through the years, we have crossed paths and have always had a good relationship. Coach and I talked about it, and he asked me to interview for the position. I have always thought the world of coach Porter.”
Settle will replace Chad Broadrick, who was named the new head football coach at East Robertson High School shortly after the Blue Devils concluded their spring practice.
“Those first years when I was here, Coach Jim Barron was still alive,” Settle said of his time at Gallatin. “Every time that he came by the campus, he would stop and ask how things were. To coach alongside coaches like coach Don Porter and coach Mark Wilson and coach Robert Lassiter, all Gallatin greats, was truly a blessing.
“I met coach Calvin Short several years ago when I was in town meeting with coach Steve Duke,” Settle continued. “To have touched a little bit of that history was pretty amazing. The people that were associated with Gallatin and the quality there is truly a privilege.
“Gallatin is a special place,” Settle said. “It has an unbelievable heritage and legacy. I will always be grateful for the opportunity here.”
Settle said that given the rich tradition of both Gallatin and White House, when he officially becomes part of the new staff a somewhat different approach will be needed.
“I think that I will compare it to when I first came to Gallatin,” Settle said. “There is a system in place and that system has proven to work. When I came to Gallatin I didn’t approach it like a bull in a china shop. There are always some little things that need tweaking. I won’t try to change them; I will just try to give them the right tools to be more successful.
“I am in a win-win situation here,” Settle continued. “Both communities love their football. There were times that when we were on the road here at Gallatin that we had more people in the stands than did the home team. It is a blessing to go to another community with similar tradition.”
Given the strength of Sumner County football, Settle said that he was glad to be staying in the area. “Tennessee football has improved over the years. It got a bad rap. There was a misconception that if you wanted a good football player that you needed to go to Georgia, Florida or Texas. I think what Coach (Butch) Jones has found out is that there are some pretty good football players in the state of Tennessee. There are a lot of great coaches in Tennessee and none better than there are in Sumner County. It is hard to beat Sumner County football. It is an incredible place.”
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association will be implementing a new district or region schedule in the fall; one that places White House with arguably a much tougher schedule. Portland, Springfield, Macon County, Pearl Cohn and Maplewood are now all slotted as region games for the Blue Devils.
“Coach Porter and I have talked briefly about the schedule,” Settle said. “We will have a tough road ahead of us.”
Settle informed the Green Wave of his move on Wednesday afternoon. “I asked Coach (Mark) Williams, who has taken the reins on this, when would be the best day to tell the players,” Settle said. “We decided that Wednesday would be the best day to do that. With exams ongoing, it has been a little tougher to get all the players together but I will inform them then.”
“It has been a blessing to coach here at Gallatin,” Settle concluded. “Sometime you fuss about the pay and the long hours, but most of the time you look back and say, I can’t believe I get paid to do this for a living. I will always have a special place in my heart for Gallatin. I love the Green Wave but I am fixing to fall in love with White House.”
White House opens its season at home against cross-town foe, White House Heritage on August 21.