Nathan Tanner officially named South’s football coach

Photo Provided Nathan Tanner looks on during a Martinsville High School football practice last season. Tuesday, Tanner officially was hired as Parkersburg South’s head football coach.

PARKERSBURG — Nathan Tanner, a 2011 Concord University graduate, was approved Tuesday night by the Wood County Board of Education to become the new head football coach at Parkersburg South.

The Patriots found their replacement for head coach Mike Eddy in Virginia. Tanner has led the Martinsville Bulldogs for the past two years after previously being the head man for Summers County from 2013-16.

“It was really difficult. I talked to the kids today and you know, even over a span of two years you can develop a lot of relationships with kids,” Tanner said of informing his ex-players the reasons he was leaving for the Mountain State.

“We’re moving up on Saturday and I’m starting Monday. I’ll be a full-time substitute at the school and next year I plan to be a physical education teacher.”

In his previous six years as a head coach, the ex-Mountain Lion football player and track athlete has guided his teams to the postseason four times.

“I had a friend who tipped me about the job,” Tanner added. “He told me probably nine or 10 o’clock at night in late January and I wasn’t actively looking to move from Martinsville. What was unique was it’s really close to where my wife (Paige) grew up and where my wife’s family currently lives in Spencer.

“The night I heard about the job I sat up until probably 2 o’clock in the morning researching it and she got up to feed the baby (Maximus) and I talked to her about it and asked her what she thought.”

That moment proved to be the beginning of the end for his coaching career in Virginia.

“She said she’d like for me to look into it and I decided to throw my name in and that’s kind of all she wrote,” admitted the new Patriot grid boss. “I went up and interviewed and everything seemed like a really good fit and we decided to accept the offer.”

As far as his potential coaching staff goes, Tanner said PSHS athletics director Roger Thompson “has given me several names and described several people to me. I have a list and I plan on calling several of those individuals and setting up interviews and what we are going to do moving forward.”

Tanner, a 2007 graduate of Giles (Va.) High School, hopes to have his coaching staff in place by the second week of April.

He said the Patriots will be a multiple spread offense and he’ll fit his scheme to the personnel he has available. While Tanner plans to call the plays on offense, he’s looking for a defensive coordinator if he feels the person will be a good fit.

“We’re packing up and whenever I got the news I got approved I told my wife Paige we are going into this head first,” Tanner said. “Move up this weekend, start at the school on Monday, meet with the kids and get stuff rolling next week.”