GPS Athletic Director Adds International Lacrosse Coach To His Role

Monday, August 13, 2018
Watts, back row center, with Poland’s Women’s National Lacrosse Team
Watts, back row center, with Poland’s Women’s National Lacrosse Team

GPS Athletic Director Jay Watts can now add Women’s National Lacrosse Coach to his résumé. In fall 2017, Watts responded to a recruitment announcement for a head coach for Poland’s Women’s National Lacrosse Team, an arena in which he’s had expertise. By February he had been named to the position. 

This is not Watts’ first foray into international sports; he was a dedicated host volunteer during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He also represented US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men and women’s lacrosse in the United States, in Prague before the FIL Women’s Lacrosse World Cup in 2009. At that time, lacrosse in the Czech Republic was relatively new. “In the back of my mind, I thought it would be cool to be part of an up and coming sport in another part of the world,” he says. 

Watts volunteered with US Lacrosse from 2001 to 2017, serving on the Board of Governors for the Women’s Division of US Lacrosse from 2005 to 2009. He chaired the organization’s Safety Education Committee and was a member of the US Lacrosse rules committee for six years. He also served on the National Federation of High Schools Girls Lacrosse Rules Committee for eight years, working as the chair of the committee from 2011 to 2015.  

GPS added lacrosse to its varsity sports lineup in 2005, fielding the first girls’ team in Chattanooga. This year, in addition to his responsibilities as athletic director, Watts will serve as Varsity Head Coach for GPS lacrosse. It’s a role he’s excited to return to after an impressive showing in the sport in the Atlanta area, where he coached at Westminster for 19 years.

As a high school coach in Atlanta at Westminster, Watts was selected as the Georgia State Coach of the Year five times and Area Coach of the Year 11 times in lacrosse. He was selected as Georgia Lacrosse Foundation Man of the Year in 2006 and elected to Georgia Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2007. His teams won nine state tournament championships and were one of the 10 winningest programs in the United States during his time there. 

Watts left the United States on August 6, and he returns from Katowice, Poland, in time for the start of the 2018-19 school year at GPS. He will likely return to Poland for more training in the spring. Then June 18-27, 2019, he will coach the Polish Women’s National Team at the European Lacrosse Championships in Tel Aviv, Israel. In his absence, the Polish women’s team members will continue to refine their game in club league play. “We are adapting to the available resources they have and finding how to be most effective,” Watts says. “The end goal is to compete in the next World Cup in 2021 and hopefully see women’s lacrosse become an Olympic event.”


FOOTBALL   FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 Brentwood Academy at Baylor Boyd-Buchanan at Chattanooga Christian McMinn Co. at Bradley Brainerd at Signal Mountain Howard at Central Cleveland at Maryville Heritage Copper Basin at South Pittsburg Sequoyah at East Hamilton Anderson Co. at East Ridge Grace at Ezell Harding ... (click for more)

UTC Football Hosts No. 17 Samford Saturday

The Chattanooga Mocs (3-0) football team hosts No. 17 Samford at Finley Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22.  This is the annual Academic Night, where all UTC student-athletes who posted a 3.0 or higher in the spring semester are honored prior to the 7:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) kickoff. Saturday's game is sponsored by the hard working men and women of Iron Workers Local 704. With exemplary ... (click for more)

Judge Collier Denies New Trial For Ex Pilot Travel Centers President Hazelwood; Did Not File Within 14 Days Of Verdict

Federal Judge Curtis Collier has issued a 48-page order denying a new trial for former Pilot Travel Centers president Mark Hazelwood. He said initial Hazelwood attorney Rusty Hardin of Houston, Tex., did not follow federal rules of filing notice of an appeal within 14 days of the verdict. Judge Collier also denied a request by Brad Henry, the new Hazelwood lawyer, for time ... (click for more)

Juvenile Shot On East 14th Street On Friday

A juvenile was shot Friday evening on East 14th Street. The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 6:45 p.m. to a person shot in the 2000 block of East 14th Street. Upon arrival, Officers located a male victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. Hamilton County EMS responded to the scene and transported the victim to a local hospital. Members of the Violent ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

The Saturday Funnies

Before we get into this week’s edition of The Saturday Funnies, I want to share a fun chunk of information that we can have a lot of fun with tonight. Our pals at the website were good enough to pass along the fact today marks the September Equinox. And – get this -- if you play this right, it will be just like the farmer says: “On the field of opportunity, it’s ... (click for more)