Football: Former Wootton Coach Tyree Spinner named head coach at Avalon

Former Wootton Coach Tyree Spinner has been hired as the new head football coach at Avalon.

Spinner confirmed the move Thursday, which comes just over one month after he was forced to resign at Wootton after two seasons. He will take over at Avalon for Tad Shields, who has coached at the school since 2004 and served as a head coach the last three seasons. Shields said Thursday night that he chose to step down because bringing Spinner aboard presented a “great opportunity” for the school. Spinner said it’s a chance to start over.

“I just felt like Avalon would be a place where I could really make my mark and turn this program into something that is admired and that kids want to attend,” Spinner said.

Spinner, 31, said he was approached by numerous area schools in Montgomery County as well as in Virginia and the District about available coaching positions. He led Wootton to a 5-5 record last season, which was the first time since 2008 that the school didn’t have a losing record.

Avalon Athletic Director Patrick Duffy could not be immediately reached for comment Thursday.

Spinner’s resignation at Wootton caused a stir in February, leaving many of his former players stunned and included the creation of a Twitter account called @getspinnerback, which amassed over 150 followers.

“It was emotionally tough because I invested so much into the kids and the community over at Wootton. However, I’m a man of faith, so blessings are often disguised. That door at Wootton closed, so another one could open,” Spinner said. “I’m pretty stoked, I’m pretty excited. I turned down some pretty enticing offers to kind of start from scratch.”

The Black Knights, who compete in the Capital Area Football Conference, finished 5-5 last fall under Shields. The school had two high-profile recruits in 2012, sending wide receiver Jacquille Veii to Maryland and running back Rachid Ibrahim to Pittsburgh, and blue-chip defensive tackle Adam McLean started his career there before eventually transferring to Quince Orchard, where he will be a senior next fall.

Spinner starred at Paul VI and went on to play at the University of Virginia, Richmond and Morgan State, and his coaching experience includes serving as an assistant at West Potomac. He said his staff at Avalon will consist of several former Wootton and Avalon assistants, and the rest will be assembled by next week. Spinner also didn’t rule out former Wootton players transferring to the Gaithersburg school, adding that “Avalon is not for your everyday kid, it takes a certain type of kid to accept the codes and ethics that the school conducts.”

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