CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WRCB) -- Two of Bradley County's three high school football teams are now without a head coach.
One week after Ted Lockerby stepped down at Walker Valley, E.K. Slaughter turned in his resignation to Cleveland High administrators Monday morning.
"I think it caught a few people by surprise, but I just felt it was the right decision," Slaughter said of the move via cell phone Monday afternoon. "It was the right thing to do for the program, and the right thing to do for me and my family.
"God has a plan, and I'm excited to see what that is."
Cleveland finished 5-5 in 2011 and missed the playoffs for the first time in Slaughter's tenure. After replacing Danny Wilson as head coach before the 2009 season, Slaughter went 14-18 in three years with two playoff trips.
However, the Blue Raiders' best record in that span was a 6-5 mark in 2010, which included a seven-point loss to Lawerence County in the first round of the playoffs. Cleveland finished 3-7 in the regular season in Slaughter's first year, yet earned a playoff spot in a thin 5A bracket and nearly upset Columbia Central in the first round.
"I don't regret going to Cleveland at all," Slaughter said. "I've met some people here and formed relationships that have changed my life in a dramatic fashion.
"From our staff, to the kids and their parents, it's really been a blessing. I'm a totally different person personally, spiritually and professionally because of my time here."
He said he's "wide open" as far as his future plans, and would take a serious look "at just about every option out there."
Slaughter made a name for himself while perfecting a high-powered spread offense as Red Bank's offensive coordinator for three years under Tim Daniels. He earned his first shot at a head coaching spot at Soddy-Daisy in 2008, replacing the retiring Tom Weathers. The Trojans finished 8-4 overall and advanced to the second round of the TSSAA playoffs in Slaughter's only season with the program.
His program received plenty of attention this season at Cleveland with ESPN Elite 11 quarterback Chad Voytik running the offense. Voytik, who has verbally committed to Pitt, was one of the reasons ESPNU decided to do a live broadcast of Cleveland's home game against rival Bradley Central in October.
Slaughter was also named the Tennessee Titans Coach of the Week following Cleveland's 41-6 rout of Red Bank earlier this season.