Shinlever’s long dedication to Bearden community continues with his role as athletics director


Coach Morgan Shinlever works with his weightlifting students in class. Coach Shinlever is excited about his second stint as athletics director.

Coach Morgan Shinlever is a familiar face around the Bearden community.

After coaching for many athletic teams and having many different roles in the building, Coach Shinlever is beginning his second stint as athletics director this school year.

Coach Shinlever stepped down from his role as head football coach at the end of last season after eight years, with six of his teams making the playoffs.

“It’s been a very smooth and easy transition,” Coach Shinlever said. “Before I was the head football coach, I was the athletic director, so it is like wearing a new-old hat.”

The athletics director has the responsibility of interacting with every Bearden program, while additionally having to interact with the TSSAA.

Bearden benefits from having top-tier athletics programs and star student-athletes, something that Coach Shinlever is looking forward to seeing more of as the years progress.

“I’m so excited to be able to see our student athletes in a setting other than the hallways or the lunchroom,” he said. “Being the head football coach was incredibly time consuming, so I’m looking forward to being able to see them play their games as opposed to just reading about them or talking to their coaches.”

The Bearden community has been an important part of Coach Shinlever’s life, not just for the 18 years that he has been on the staff, but his whole life.

“My parents were married across the street at the church, my grandparents are buried in the cemetery out in the back [next to the same church], and I’ve had many family members that have graduated from here, so I have always been around the Bearden community in a way,” Coach Shinlever said. “One of the main reasons that I decided to stay here is because of how much Bearden means to me.

“It’s helped develop me into the person that I am today, and I want to raise my kids in this community.”

When asked about the future of the Bearden athletics department, Coach Shinlever said that he hopes for more unity between all programs. 

“I can’t think of many programs in our area that have as much success in their sports as we do,” Coach Shinlever said. “But I think that we can become more unified together and even stronger than we are now.”