B.J. Coleman Comes Home to Chattanooga

Joel BarkerSenior Writer IMay 7, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback  B.J. Coleman #18 of the Tennessee Volunteers warms up before the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Vanderbilt Stadium on November 22, 2008 in Nashville, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

After a year-plus of toiling in ‘Big Brother’s’ dungeon, B.J. Coleman decided to come home and play for the little brother.

The local star signed UTC scholarship papers today at his alma mater, the McCallie School.

Coleman could not convince two coaching staffs at UT-Knoxville that he was the best QB on campus.

The new staff at UT-Chattanooga, however, will welcome him with open arms.

First year head coach Russ Huesman and B.J.’s father, Bryan, played football together at UTC in the late 70s. I am sure that had a great deal to do with this decision.

It is a great decision that should work out for all parties, except for current-UTC senior QB’s Jare Gault, and Tony Pastore.

But when you get a chance to get an FBS-caliber QB at UTC, you have to jump on it.

Coleman was a high school hero at the McCallie School in Chattanooga. He enjoyed what was quite possibly the best high school career of any QB in Chattanooga history.

Former Vols Offensive Coordinator, David Cutcliffe, fell in love with Coleman’s game and was by all accounts his next QB building project (Ex. the Manning brothers, & Tee Martin). That is, until Cutcliffe left for the Duke Head Coaching position after the 2007 season.

After two attempts to unseat Jonathan Crompton as the starting QB at Tennessee fell short, for some unknown reason, Coleman decided it was time to move on.

Now he has a chance to build onto his Chattanooga-hero status by taking UT-Chattanooga from the Southern Conference cellar to the FCS playoffs.

The Mocs are banned from the postseason in 2009 because of a poor APR, although there was never a real chance of that happening anyway.

For this new staff to get Coleman on top of having a pretty good recruiting haul this year definitely gives the Mocs-faithful some hope.

This is a program that some people, including myself, have called on the University to cut.

UTC football has been awful for a long time. But for once the future goes from being bleak—yet hopeful, to being cautiously optimistic—yet promising.

2010 and beyond now have to be considered as potential seasons to put Chattanooga on the FCS map for reasons other than hosting the National Championship each December.

One thing is certain; if Chattanoogans start to fill Finley Stadium in September, October, and November; ‘Big Brother’ in Knoxville will take notice.