Chaney named new athletic director at Springs Valley

By Noah Dalton

MITCHELL – After a 34-year career, Jerry Chaney will be stepping away from his position as a teacher and varsity baseball head coach at Mitchell High School to pursue a new opportunity, having recently accepted the role of Athletic Director at Springs Valley High School.

Jerry Chaney poses at the entrance of Springs Valley High School after his hiring was approved by the district’s school board

Making the jump to become an athletic director was something Chaney had considered as a potential next step for some time. Even so, he said the decision to pursue the opening at Springs Valley was a difficult one to make.

“Yeah, it was a tough decision,” Chaney said. “At this time in my career, I just felt like it was time to put my name in the hat.”

Over the course of his career, Chaney taught at the elementary school, middle school, and high school levels, along with coaching various sports including baseball, basketball, football and golf. In total, he spent 13 years as a head coach and another 17 as an assistant.

Since 2000, Chaney has dedicated much of his free time to coaching varsity high school baseball.

He began at Eastern Greene (2000-04), before coaching at Bedford North Lawrence (2010-13) and later at Mitchell (2017-24).

Over the course of his career, Chaney ammassed around 200 wins as a head coach, finding his most success leading the Bluejackets, who tallied a 87-65 record since his arrival in 2017, winning two PLAC championships and the school’s first regional championship since 1940 in their 2022-23 campaign.

The Mitchell Bluejackets pose with their 2A regional trophy

According to Chaney, the success of his programs was always secondary to his primarly goal of teaching his players life lessons and helping them grow to become the best versions of themselves.

“My goal has always been to try to help turn these boys into men we can all be proud of and I think our senior class showed that very well. I mean, we have some boys that grew to be men that we can all be proud of, and they’re going to be successful in everything they do,” he said.

“That’s always been my goal. I’ve always loved teaching and coaching and, I’ve had a great career at 34 years and it just feels like I started yesterday and to be honest with you, but at this time, it’s time to try something new.”

Chaney will look to carry that philosophy to his new role and school, as he now looks to stand as a helping hand for the Blackhawks’ coaches, aiding them in finding similar success.

Former Bluejackets head coach Jerry Chaney talks to his team between at-bats

“Springs Valley is a great school. My role changes, but my hope is that I can help coaches in any way that I can. I’ve been a head coach. I think that helps out, but I know what they go through on a daily basis. So, my goal is to help my coaches and I’d like to funnel that kind of belief down; that wins and losses aren’t the main thing that we’re going for here. We want to make good people,” said Chaney.

As Chaney looks back on his time at Mitchell, he gave special thanks to former athletic director Danny Reynolds, who initially hired him as the school’s head baseball coach.

“I’m thankful for my time at Mitchell and I’m thankful for Danny Reynolds. He hired me back when I first started here in Mitchell and he’s a great friend and a great mentor and I hope to be half the athletic director that he was, because he was obviously the best I’ve ever seen and most people agree with that. How classy Danny was, that’s something I want to bring. I want to be an athletic director that helps, I want to try to bring class in everything I do and try to represent the school as best I can,” he said.