Pettigrew out as Bulldogs coach

Pettigrew out as Bulldogs coach

By Victor Parkins
After two years guiding the Bulldog football program, Craig ‘Teddy’ Pettigrew is out as the head coach.  He resigned from the position Monday morning.
Pettigrew was 14-11 in his tenure with the Bulldogs.  He led Milan to the playoffs in both of his two seasons, with each of those teams finishing second in Region 7-3A.  Pettigrew’s first season ended at 8-5 in the quarter-finals and his second stint ended with a 6-6 mark in the second round of the post-season.
Milan Athletic Director and MHS Principal Greg Scott sent a prepared statement to the Mirror-Exchange Monday.

“This morning, I accepted the resignation of Coach Teddy Pettigrew from his position as head football coach at Milan High School.  I know that Coach Teddy loves Milan and Bulldog football.  He has been a valuable asset to our football staff for 16 years and we are grateful for the impact and personal investments he has made in young men over that time,” Scott wrote.
Coach Pettigrew said it was clear to him that race played a role in the decision to remove him as Milan’s coach.
“They should have never hired me if they weren’t going to give me a fair chance,” Pettigrew said.  “When I took the job I knew in my heart they would fire me if I didn’t win a state championship in two years.  If I was a white coach, I wouldn’t be getting fired.  I did the best I could do with what I inherited.  I feel like because we’re building a new stadium, they didn’t want a black coach leading the program.  But that’s who I am.  I’m an African American and because of that I was expendable.  It’s quite evident to me that’s why I’m no longer the coach.  Look at the other sports in Milan.  Those coaches aren’t getting fired for being second in the region–it just doesn’t happen,” he said.
Pettigrew broke the news to his team Monday afternoon.
“This is my dream job but I was forced to resign this morning,” Pettigrew said to his team.  “This is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.  You guys are like sons to me and I hope and pray that each of you find success in your future.”
Pettigrew said he’ll be coaching again very soon.
“I’ve probably got text messages from 10 different head coaches this morning asking me to come coach on their staff.  I’m not through coaching,” he said.

Mr. Scott said a search for a new coach would begin immediately.

“From this point, I will begin the process to find the next leader of what we all know to be the premier football program in West Tennessee.  As always, we want someone who can lead our young men on and off the field and teach integrity, discipline, and hard work in the pursuit of excellence.  The Bulldogs that have come before and all of Bulldog Nation deserve nothing less.”

16 Comments

  1. Dean Smith Russell on November 18, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    I am sorry this has happened. I am disappointed in Milan for this racist act.

  2. Kaelis on November 18, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    That’s beyond cruel to do to someone who has bled the sweat and the tears to help the program get where it needs and like he said it is a race thing.
    He wasn’t known as a coach to his players he was known as another father and like any good one would do he pushed us to break our limits and instill within ourselves a pride that’s dam near unbreakable he should be the next principal if you ask me🤷🏽‍♂️

  3. Dakota on November 18, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Milan high school is such a disgrace! I hate that school with a passion! Coach teddy you deserve more than what that school can offer!

  4. Bobby on November 19, 2019 at 12:31 am

    What are you going to do about it?

  5. Josh Doe on November 19, 2019 at 6:20 am

    Milan is a trash system always been, was fortunate to have many good players come through but that old fart Morris & his wack terrible play calling couldn’t win a middle school championship but best the luck to OG TEDDY you did no wrong this is No Love City

    • John A. on November 19, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      Really? Morris won two State Titles 1998,1999, Milan was state Runner Up numerous times and had the Dawgs in the Playoffs almost every year until the last 4 years. Besides Tucker Morris was the beat Coach Milan ever had maybe even better than Tucker.

      • Jane Doe on November 19, 2019 at 7:43 pm

        John A….you’re wrong about the last 4 years… Morris had the Dawgs in the playoffs 20 of his 21 years….2013 was the only year they didn’t make it….

    • Jane Doe on November 19, 2019 at 7:25 pm

      excuse me Einstein but that “old fart” Morris was 222-69 at Milan with 2 gold balls and 4 silver….and his teams were disciplined….Teddy….not so much…heard….and confirmed my several sources…that one of his “star” players this year during a practice told an assistant coach to f**k off…and nothing was done….

  6. Milan graduate on November 19, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Why is he playing the race card? Only he and the school officials know what the real reason is, but to say it’s because he’s black is nuts. When white people get fired from jobs, they don’t go around screaming “it’s because I am WHITE!”!
    Stop playing the race card! Ugh

    • Lorre Brown 1982 graduate on November 19, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      Stop pretending that there is no such thing as racial bias. White people don’t have to scream that; because they are never fired because of it. But you better believe it does happen. And it very well may have been the case here. Just like it was said earlier, “we don’t know.”

      • Milan graduate on November 20, 2019 at 8:03 am

        Of course you don’t know. You don’t know if it was about him being black or because of something he did. It’s ridiculous to play the race card! He was with them 16 years!!! They probably told him they would give him 2-3 years to see what he could do in his contract. You don’t know!

    • Susan on November 19, 2019 at 8:08 pm

      You are so right. The race card is always played when things don’t go like they want it.

  7. Chuck on November 19, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    It is sickening to see him play the race card. If he was fired for being black, then sue the hell out of them. Does he have proof that he was fired because he was black? Or is this just the trigger that he knows will incite people and get them on his side? Teams with losing records make the playoffs, so don’t tout that like it’s an accomplishment. 8-5 in year 1 and 6-6 in year 2 doesn’t show improvement, it shows regression. What if they hire another black coach? Will the “fired for being black” narrative still be played?

    • Mr. Facts on November 20, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      1. 1995 Season HC D. Bland
      10-3 elim. 3rd round

      2. 1996 Season HC J. Morris
      7-4 elim. 1st round 54-0

      3. 1997 Season HC J. Morris
      6-5 elim. 1st round

      Coach Morris coaches another 20 years and wins 2 gold balls

      1. 2017 Season HC C. Morris
      6-6 elim. 2nd Round

      2. 2018 Season HC C. Pettigrew
      8-5 elim. 3rd Round

      3. 2019 Season HC C. Pettigrew
      6-6 elim. 2nd Round

      These are researchable numbers that anyone can look up.

      The major question is why was Coach Morris not fired in the same fashion since he took over a previous 10 win team and declined his 1st and 2nd year as the head coach in overall record and playoff elimination?

  8. Jane Doe on November 19, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    I believe Teddy was black when they hired him….but none of the 50 plus white applicants…and many of them had successful head coaching experience.. screamed racism when they didn’t get the job…..

  9. Mr. Facts on November 20, 2019 at 5:36 pm

    1. 1995 Season HC D. Bland
    10-3 elim. 3rd round

    2. 1996 Season HC J. Morris
    7-4 elim. 1st round 54-0

    3. 1997 Season HC J. Morris
    6-5 elim. 1st round

    Coach Morris coaches another 20 years and wins 2 gold balls

    1. 2017 Season HC C. Morris
    6-6 elim. 2nd Round

    2. 2018 Season HC C. Pettigrew
    8-5 elim. 3rd Round

    3. 2019 Season HC C. Pettigrew
    6-6 elim. 2nd Round

    These are researchable numbers that anyone can look up.

    The major question is why was Coach Morris not fired in the same fashion since he took over a previous 10 win team and declined his 1st and 2nd year as the head coach in overall record and playoff elimination?

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