Alumni Spotlight

Chip English, ’08, and Heather English, ’08

By: Chip English
June 12, 2017

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was moving into Page Hall at Pikeville College. A lot has happened since that day in August 2005. I was nervous and excited about moving over five hours from home and knowing no one there. During my three years at Pikeville, I had the great opportunity to play football for the Bears. As a sophomore transfer, I was the quarterback of a team that made it to the NAIA national playoffs for the first time in school history. At one point during the season we were ranked fifth in the nation. I have some wonderful memories of that year. I was very humbled to have played with so many great football players such as Calvin Joplin, Antwan Marsh, Jesse Peck, Brad Allen, Elbert Shumake, Lamont Sturdivant, Matt Brown, Nick Jamerson, Justin Lamb, and so many more. I am proud to say that is the best year the Bears have had in school history, led by Head Coach Jerry Mynatt.

That year I also met a women I would later call my wife, Heather Dillon. We were married and blessed with a son Trot in 2007. I was not the only athlete in the family. Heather was a key contributor on the Lady Bears basketball team. It was the coolest thing talking road trips with Trot to watch her play. In 2008 it was a great joy of mine to walk across the stage at graduation with my wife. Heather double majored in business management and management information systems. I got my degree in communications. There were so many people at Pikeville College who helped us along the way. People like Coach Bill Watson, Coach Mynatt, John Biery, former President Hal Smith, Rick Bentley, Charlie Pinson, Chandra Massner, Natalie Stewart, Carol Ward, Kathy Petot, Mr. and Mrs. Collier, Gene Lovel, and our lifelong friends we went to school with.

After graduation we packed up our family and moved to North Carolina. Heather went on to work at the courthouse with the clerk’s office and I began my career in education. I also started my coaching career at Hickory Ridge High School. The next year I accepted an assistant coaching position at A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis, N.C, a true football town about 20 minutes north of Charlotte. While there, I learned the game and much more under two incredible head coaches. I coached more than 20 players who would go on to play college football, two of whom just signed contracts with the NFL.

In Kannapolis I didn’t just grow in the area of football, Heather and I had two more children, daughters Tatum in 2009 and Teagan in 2012.

In February 2014, I accepted my first head football coaching job. It was a small school of about 1,000 students in the city of Lenoir, N.C. Heather was incredibly supportive with the transition and move. I began teaching and coaching at West Caldwell High School. With the help of many people and lots of hard work, we were able to win a conference championship in just three short years. Being such a young coach, I was very humbled to receive Coach of the Year honors from my conference peers.

While at West Caldwell our family continued to grow. Heather and I had two more children, this time boys, Tebow in 2015 and Ty in 2016.

Heather and I felt our time was up in Lenoir and we began looking for other head jobs. We were blessed with a job offer from Grissom High School, located in Huntsville, Ala. Moving our family of seven was an adventure. Heather has deemed herself the “team mom,” bringing Popsicles on hot days. She has already had the rising seniors over for dinner. The support she has shown and continues to show our family, me, and our football family is second to none. I am very grateful for her and how she allows me to do what I love.
Heather and I are excited about this new adventure. We have a long way to go but love where we are. I appreciate the opportunity to be a head football coach. I also appreciate my incredible wife who not only allows me to wake up and do what I love each day, but also is the absolute best mother to our five amazing children.

We often think back to where it all started. Pikeville College is such a special place to us. It has really shaped our lives and we will always cherish the memories we had there. Getting a top-notch education, playing basketball and football for the Bears, and starting our family – we could not ask for anything better. The Lord has truly blessed us.

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