CASTLEWOOD — During his nine years as head coach of the Castlewood football program, David Scammell witnessed his fair share of trick plays.
Evidently nothing caught him unawares like the Russell County School Board did on Thursday night.
Scammell, whose career highlights with the Blue Devils included a spirited and memorable mismatch with top-ranked Galax in the second round of the VHSL playoffs in 2011, is no longer head coach at Castlewood.
In a surprise action, the board gave Scammell a new teaching assignment and named former Lebanon assistant Darrell Taylor as his replacement.
Scammell reportedly was stunned by the turn of events.
As early as June, Castlewood’s football media day had been set for Friday. Earlier this week, the date was postponed to Friday, Aug. 8 because of a scheduling conflict.
The timing of the postponement may have been coincidental. Blue Devils athletic director Shannon Casteel said she was as surprised by the sudden change as anyone.
“I found out yesterday and it was approved last night at the school board meeting,” Casteel said Friday. “I don’t have a lot of details. All I know is that David Scammell is no longer our football coach and Darrell Taylor is our new coach.”
Scammell reportedly offered his resignation in April when he was considering another coaching job. He subsequently retracted his intentions to resign.
Scammell’s reassignment was the latest instance of an exodus of veteran coaches from the Russell County school this year.
Boys varsity basketball coach Doug Campbell resigned his successful post to take the girls head basketball position at George Wythe. His wife, volleyball coach Nikki Campbell, left with him.
Baseball coach Jonathan Salyers and wrestling coach Todd Glover handed in their whistles this past spring.
With Scammell’s departure, Barry Ruff, who coaches girls varsity basketball and softball, is the last veteran who held a head coaching position in 2012-13 remaining at the school.