Mitchell spent the last nine years at Cedar Bluff, where he was also the Tigers’ football defensive coordinator. He accepted the Piedmont position on July 16. His resignation was officially accepted Monday morning by the Cherokee County Board of Education.
“The opportunities that Cedar Bluff gave me were great, and sometimes those opportunities lead to other opportunities,” Mitchell said. “I can’t thank the people at Cedar Bluff enough. I’ve had several parents text me and call me wishing I wasn’t leaving, but also congratulating me. It was a privilege to coach there, and an honor to be a part of those championships. I’m starting a new chapter now, and we’ll see how it goes.”
In addition to becoming Piedmont’s new head track and field coach, Mitchell’s new duties include coaching wide receivers and assisting the outside linebackers on Piedmont’s football team. He will also be teaching at Piedmont’s technical school.
The move also reunites Mitchell with Piedmont football coach Steve Smith. Smith coached at Cedar Bluff from 1995-2005.
“Coach Smith is one of my best friends,” Mitchell said. “We hang out together. Our families do things together year around. It’s going to be like old times years ago when we coached together. That was a big influence, getting a chance to work with someone who’s such a good football coach and has a good program.
“It’s going to be fun. They’ve got a great coaching staff and a good administration who are excited about being here and looking forward to the future.”
Smith said he’s “tickled to death” to add Mitchell and his family to the Piedmont community.
“I’ve always admired the job Mark’s done,” Smith said. “He’s led Cedar Bluff to all those state championships in track. That speaks for itself, but he’s also an excellent football coach. We had the opportunity to bring him over. He had an interest there too. It was just a good fit. We’re really proud to add him to our staff.
“Mark comes from a great family. He and his wife Heather are great people, and that’s the kind of people we want to surround ourselves with. I know what he can do as a coach from the five years I worked with him at Cedar Bluff, and I remember watching him over the last six. I know he’s really committed to everything he does. We think he can come add to what we have at Piedmont. I know he’s going to take our track team to the next level, and he’ll be a valuable assistant on the football field.”
Cedar Bluff principal Bobby Mintz said he wishes Mitchell the best in his new endeavor.
“In his tenure here, I can’t say anything but good things about Coach Mitchell,” Mintz said. “He’s been a positive influence for our school, our students and our community. He’ll be missed. He’s done a really good job for us. He coached football, and of course his contributions with our track program have been really, really good the last few years.
“The coaching is one thing, but Mark is a really good classroom teacher, and we’re really going to miss that aspect of it.”
The Cherokee County Board of Education is in the early stages of posting Mitchell’s vacancy. Mintz said, “We’ll go from there when that gets going.”
“We’re going to do well with the next person, and our teams will continue to be competitive,” Mintz said. “Our coaches will continue to do good jobs. We wish Mark well, but I know we’re still going to be successful too.”