Jason Chappell

Jason Chappell speaks to members of the Pineville football team Wednesday afternoon after it was announced he would be the new head coach for the Mountain Lions.

Randy Frazier has resigned as the head coach of the Pineville Mountain Lion football team, but will be staying on as defensive coordinator. Replacing him as head coach is Jason Chappell, who spent last season as the team’s offensive coordinator.

They and Superintendent Russell Thompson met with several members of the football team Wednesday afternoon to announce the changes.

Frazier said there were several factors that went into his changing roles, most importantly him putting more time into his job as assistant principal.

“With everything that’s happened in our country with the pandemic it’s tough on any coach out there and it’s tough on our school systems to keep kids and get them the education they deserve,” he said. “At Pineville we put kids first, our kids’ educations are our most important goals.

“For me to change roles at this point in time and still be a part of the football program, I think that’s what going to take this program to the next level. I think we’re on the doorstep of reaching that next level and I think Coach Chappell is the perfect guy to take it there. I’ll still be working with him and we have a great relationship.”

Frazier and Chappell have a long history of working well together. Chappell was the offensive coordinator at Middlesboro when Frazier was the head coach there. He had previously been the head coach at South Laurel and left Middlesboro to become the head coach at Whitley County. Frazier joined his staff as defensive coordinator there and when Frazier became Pineville’s head coach, he added Chappell to run the offense last season.

“When he asked me to come to Whitley I drove it every day, that’s what kind of guy he is,” Frazier added. “It’s a great situation that he and I have.”

Chappell thanked Frazier, Thompson and the School Board for giving him the opportunity to come to Pineville.

“I think Pineville is a special place and I do think there are things that we can do because of our size and the set-up of our school that a lot of people can’t do. The conversation needs to start focusing on the things we can be instead of what we can’t be here,” he said. “I’m excited, this is great place and my children love going to school here. My family and I love being here. In a lot of ways Pineville is like a private school in terms of class size and rigorous education and just the relationships you have with students and faculty throughout the building. This is an unbelievable place to be for students and just to work.”

The Mountain Lions went 8-3 in Frazier’s first season and 5-3 last year in a season shortened by COVID-19. Pineville defeated Harlan 21-14 in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Williamsburg in the District championship round.

Chappell said he’s excited about the future of the program.

“We’ve got a good group of kids coming back, we had a really talented junior class last year and we get those kids back. Coach Roan has done a fantastic job with our middle school and we look forward to getting those kids involved with our program too,” Chappell said. “I think the future is really exciting here for Pineville football.”

When speaking to the players, Chappell told them he was more concerned with teaching them how to become good husbands and fathers than he was about how well they performed on the football field, adding that “when you’re doing the right things the wins and losses will take care of themselves.”

Frazier also wanted to stress that he’s 100-percent committed to staying at Pineville.

“I want to stop all of the rumors. I’m not leaving Pineville and going anywhere else to coach football. I hope I get to retire at Pineville,” he said. “I love this place, I love this school, I love the people I work for and work with. I don’t want anyone out there telling these kids that Coach Frazier is leaving them. I love these kids on the football team and I’m not going anywhere.”

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