COACHES / STAFF 2019-08-22T16:00:07-05:00



Scott Blade – Head Coach (pictured)
22 Years Coaching
6th Year at Independence
Career Highlights – 2005 CIF Champions at Canyon High School – Asst. Coach, 2006 4A State Runners-up at Hillsboro HS-HC,
2008 4A State Champions at Hillsboro HS – HC, 2015 5A State Champions at Independence HS – HC,
2016 5A State Runner up, 21015 Tennessee Titans High School Coach of the Year
Overall Record 122-36
Spouse Shari / Children – Lauren (19), Lexis (19), Brooke (16)

Lance White – Assistant – Defensive Coordinator
20 Years Coaching
6th Year at Independence

Career Highlights – 2016 Tennessee 5A State Runner- Up,  2015 Tennessee 5A State Championship
Spouse – Mary Beth White
Children – Emma Grace (8) and Ian (5)

Greg Burns – Assistant – Quarterbacks and Receivers
7 Years Coaching
7th Year at Independence

Originally from Lake Charles, LA and attended Leesville High School and McNeese State University where he played wide receiver and
earned a degree in Marketing

Spouse – Tina / Children – Luke (10)

Chad Gates – Freshman Head Coach
21 Years Coaching
14th Year at Independence

Originally from California then attended Ripon College in Wisconsin where he played Defensive Line and Outside Linebacker
Career Highlights – 2016, Tennessee 5A State Runner- Up, 2015 Tennessee 5A State Champs, 2007 Tennessee 5A State Runner Up
Spouse – Denise /  Children – Brock (13) and Audrey (10)

Brandi Mangrum –  Certified Athletic Trainer
16 Years as Athletic Trainer
13th Year at Independence
BS of Science from Alabama, MS in Health Education from MTSU
She began her career at Brentwood Academy in 2003
2015 Named High School Athletic Trainer of the Year for the State of Tennessee at the Tennessee Athletic Trainer Society’s Annual Conference
2006 She came to Independence teaching Health Science and Rehabilitation
2016-17 Named Teacher of the Year at Independence
Spouse – Roy Mangrum (founder of  Barbell Voodoo), they married in 2010 on the 50 yard line on the football field at Independence
Furbabies (Rescue Pitbulls) – Bacon Saban (named after Nick Saban) and Ella Blade (named after Coach Scott Blade)

Carter Pillow – Assistant
13th Year Coaching
1st year at Independence
Played football at Lambuth Univerisity 1990- 1991 and served in the United States Navy from 1991-1995
Previously coached at Freedom Middle 1995-2002, Heritage Middle 2013- 2018
Married to Sonia Pillow and have 5 wonderful children: Perris, Ana, Ian, Jarren and Gavin

Mike Riazzi – Assistant – Linemen
32 Years Coaching
  2nd Year at Independence
Also coached in Florida, Texas, California and Kentucky
Graduate of Bristol Tennessee High School
Career Highlights – Working with incredible players and coaches, inducted into the Football Space Coast Hall of Fame
Spouse – Tracy /  Son – Patrick (23) teaches PE at IHS

Brandon Swayze – Assistant – Safeties
1st year Coach
1st Year at Independence
Graduated from Independence in 2012 where he also played football.  Played college football at Gardner-Webb University and
then transferred to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville
where I got my Masters in teacher education. He is currently teaching U.S. History

Gary Tucker – Assistant – Defensive Tackles
5 Years Coaching
3rd Year at Independence
Graduate of Maryville High School
Played Defensive End for George Quarles and was a member of the 2002, 2004 and 2005 State Championship Teams
He also played Defensive End at Middle Tennessee State University. He also coached at Maryville
Children – Gamiah, Ellis, Akai and Elle / Girlfriend – Melissa Weiland

Jeff Parker – Assistant

Demetreous Garrett – Assistant

Chris Holloway – Assistant

Justin Ventline – Assistant

Team Physician

Dr. Jeffrey Kutsikovich
Bone & Joint Institute at Williamson Medical Center

MTSU Students in the Athletic Training Education Program
Tre Williams

Indy Student Managers
Ashley Adornato
Emily Cole
Taylor Davenport
Amy Demke
Mackenzie Fields

Indie Kaminski

Maddie Maupin

Abby Porter

Tanner Smalling

Sydney Stapleton

Kiley Wallwork