It was a historic day in Grundy County. For the first time in history, Grundy County Schools has its first African American employee. 

Tracy Hayworth played with the Tennessee Vols in the 1980s. He then played in the NFL for the Detroit Lions. His next challenge will be the Grundy County football team.

“Been privileged with the opportunity to be named the interim head football coach,” said Tracy Hayworth.

He replaces Scott Smith, who was fired earlier this week after less than six months on the job. Last year, Scott was hired as head coach after five players were charged with attempted aggravated rape.

“My main thing is to bring the character back, change the perception of the school, get ourselves back on the right track,” said Coach Hayworth.

Hayworth was working as a volunteer coach in Franklin County. He said he is ready to take on a new challenge in Grundy County, both on and off the field.

Hayworth is the first ever black coach in school history.

“The school and this county are showing everybody; hey, we are ready to move forward. We are different folks up here on this mountain,” Hayworth said.

Friday was the first day he met his new team, Coach Hayworth hopes at the end of this season, his team learns one valuable lesson.

“Just letting the young men know I want to build character both on and off the field. Get them ready. We’re playing a game right now, a game of football. However, there is one thing I know for sure; these young men will be professional in life at some point. I want to make sure I am, we are doing the right things to prepare them for that,” said Hayworth.

According to athletic director Leon Woodlee, Scott Smith was fired because he had not met his obligations to mow the football field, improve the locker room, and return some former rivals to the schedule, including South Pittsburg, Marion County and Whitwell High Schools.