Last week, Providence Academy’s Head of School Ben Holland announced the hiring of TSSAA hall of famer George Pitts as the school’s new athletic director. Pitts will take over for Martin Sells, who is retiring later this year.
Pitts has served as head coach of the King University men’s basketball team since 2006, leading the Tornadoes to three NCAA Southeast Regional appearances and winning multiple conference championships. Pitts’ teams notched seven 20-win seasons during his tenure at King, and he was named the conference coach of the year three times.
Prior to coaching in college, Pitts amassed 820 wins during a 30-year coaching career on the high school level. Pitts won a total of seven TSSAA state championships while coaching at Science Hill and Brentwood Academy, the most for one coach in TSSAA boys’ basketball history. Pitts led Science Hill to three state titles in the early 1990s.
“I look forward to getting back to high school,” Pitts said. I spent 36 years in high school – 30 as a head coach and probably six or seven of those years as athletic director. I’ve had several stops on my journey. I’ve enjoyed every one of them. When I knew that I was not going back to King, I prayed that the Lord would open up a door for me. This happened, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Hiring Pitts is another sign of Providence Academy’s commitment to building a solid and competitive athletic program to compliment the school’s gospel-focused college preparatory academic program. Over the past year, Providence has made several high-profile hires. The school chose Jeff Reed, who won a World Series as a player with the Cincinnati Reds, to coach the baseball team and Damon Johnson – a former standout for Pitts’ Science Hill teams who went on to play at the University of Tennessee – as the basketball coach.
“Providence Academy is a Christ-centered school that strives for excellence not only in academics, but also in fine arts and athletics,” Holland said. “We foster a community which allows our students to flourish in all three areas while glorifying God. A man known for his faith, commitment to excellence and years of coaching experience, George Pitts is the perfect fit to lead our school’s competitive athletic program.”
Sells will retire at the end of the school year after helping mold Providence’s athletic department for the past 21 years, coaching soccer, basketball and baseball while also teaching at the school.