COACHES / STAFF 2021-05-15T09:33:42-05:00


Scott Blade
Head Coach

24th Year Coaching
9th Year at Independence
Overall Record: 142-50

Career Highlights:
7-time Region Coach of the Year
2005 CIF Championship at Canyon HS- Asst. Coach
2006 4A State Runner-Up at Hillsboro HS- HC
2008 4A State Champion at Hillsboro HS-HC
2008 Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year
2015 5A State Champion at Independence HS-HC
2015 Tennessee Titans Coach of the Year
2015 MaxPreps #1 Team in the Nation for Medium-Sized Schools
2015 Maxpreps Medium-Sized Schools MaxPreps Coach of the Year
2016 5A State Runner-up at Independence HS-HC
2017 TSSAA A.F. Bridges Coach of the Year Award
2019 Williamson Herald Top 10 Coach of the Decade

Spouse: Shari / Children: Lauren, Lexis, Brooke; son-in-law John

Jeff Veeder
Defensive Coordinator

37 Years Coaching High School Football
1 Year Coaching College
11 Years as a Head Coach

Career Highlights
Head / Co-Head Coach of 4 All Star Teams
14 years as Offensive Coordinator
35 years as Defensive Coordinator
17 years as Special Teams Coordinator
Orange County Coach of the Year
NFL Coach of the Week
22 Playoff Appearances
Rebuilt 4 of the worst programs in OC/LB

Chad Gates
Freshman Head Coach

24 Years Coaching
17th 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 Champions
2007 Tennessee 5A State Runner-up

Spouse: Denise / Children: Brock and Audrey

Mike Riazzi

35 Years Coaching
5th 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

Carter Pillow

16th Year Coaching
4th year at Independence

Played football at Lambuth University 1990- 1991
Served in the United States Navy 1991-1995

Previously coached at Freedom Middle 1995-2002, Heritage Middle 2013-2018

Spouse: Sonia Pillow / Children: Perris, Ana, Ian, Jarren and Gavin

Jeff Parker

3rd Year at Independence

Demetreous Garrett

3rd Year at Independence

Chris Holloway
Assistant – Varsity
JV Head Coach

15 Years Coaching
3rd Year at Independence

Spouse: Brandi / children: Matthew, Andrew, Ryan

Andre Flowers
Assistant – Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs

8th Year Coaching
2nd Year at Independence

Career Highlights:
Played Running Back at Kent State University, 2007-2011
2018 4A State Runner-up at Haywood HS – Defensive Coordinator

Spouse: Julia / Children: Aubri and Amara

Eric Smith
Assistant – Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs

2nd Year at Independence

Matt Nolan
Assistant – Offensive Line

1st Year at Independence

Brandi Mangrum
Certified Athletic Trainer

19 Years as Athletic Trainer
16th 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 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)

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