KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- After 11 years as the leader of Lenoir City’s football program, Jeff Cortez has been relieved of his duties.

Cortez said the decision was made for him.

Lenoir City went 3-7 overall this season and 0-4 in the region, missing the playoffs for the third straight year.

After 11 years, Cortez finished with a record of 49-85 as head coach.

Cortez said in a statement that he is thankful for his time with the program.

“The school informed me yesterday of their decision to make a change in the leadership position of head football coach at Lenoir City High School. First, I’d like to thank Steve Millsaps, Janet McGee, Mike Zeller, Chip Orr and Greg Boling for believing in me and hiring me 11 years ago. Since then I have become a part of this community. Our kids have attended Eaton Elementary and North Middle School and five of our 6 kids have graduated from Lenoir City High School where they all participated in various sports. While coaching football, I also helped coach a youth travel softball team and assisted Coach Epperson with his AAU team the TN Breeze. I have wanted nothing but success for Lenoir City athletics. I have 11 years of great memories!!! I have 11 years of coaching fantastic young men, working with coaches that cared and partnering with a great Booster Club!! I have introduced Lenoir City Football program to many new ideas: Mother’s Tea, Father/ Son game, Victory lap and Senior Banquet. I am proud of the way we invested in our players lives! 3 years ago we created the Team Behind the Team, a group of men in our community that invested into our players on a weekly basis and talked to them about the eternal things!!! In my previous head coaching stops we have been able to win games and turn programs around, it has not been possible to recreate that here at Lenoir City. I wish the best for Lenoir City Football’s future.”

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