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Wade Named Athletic Director of the Year
Wade Named Athletic Director of the Year
Posted on 04/04/2022

Bristol Tennessee City Schools Athletic Director Barry Wade received the Tennessee Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s (TIAAA) Athletic Director of the Year award at the annual TIAAA Conference in Murfreesboro on April 4.

In addition, Mitch Walters of Friendship Enterprises received the Distinguished Service Award for East Tennessee. Wade nominated Walters for his tremendous commitment to Viking athletics throughout the years. Wade and Walters are two of only seven individuals who received awards at this year’s TIAAA state conference.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive this award,” Wade said. “This definitely would not be possible without the outstanding support that our department receives from the board and administration of Bristol Tennessee City Schools and Tennessee High School. I am also so fortunate to have a tremendous team including our Athletic Secretary Patty Feathers, our Athletic Trainer Kelly Flanary, and just a tremendous group of coaches who work incredibly hard and make me look good.”

“Viking Nation is blessed to have Coach Wade leading our athletic programs,” said Kim Kirk, principal of Tennessee High School. “He is not only competitive on the field, but he also works just as hard to ensure our student athletes are successful in the classroom and life. Coach Wade is proud of the Viking traditions. He understands that athletics are the front porch of successful programs and is committed to keeping our front porch in top-notch condition.”

Wade has served as the athletic director for Bristol Tennessee City Schools since 2017. During that time, Wade led the athletic program to countless on-field successes as well as numerous accomplishments for the program including facility updates, renovations, and other capital projects. These include the construction of the Viking Keep fieldhouse in the Stone Castle, the reinstatement of the dance team program, the establishment of a boys volleyball club team, renovation and redesign of the Viking Hall playing floor, establishment of the Viking Sports Network, and the creation of a youth sports coordinator position which led to establishing the new Dale Burns Youth Sports League, beginning with basketball and cheer this past fall that included more than 600 participants. Wade also revamped the school’s Athletic Banquet into an interactive, student-driven Athletic Recognition Night. During his tenure, Wade has continued to enhance Tennessee High’s brand recognition in Viking Hall, at Rotary Field softball complex, and with signage in the Stone Castle for football and soccer. Wade also collaborated with the CTE department to spearhead the project to place a large “T” outside of Viking Hall. Most recently Wade guided the athletic department through the COVID-19 pandemic developing safety protocols for student athletes to return to play.

Prior to becoming athletic director, Wade served as the head coach of the Lady Viking Basketball Program, compiling an overall record of 195-90 in nine years, including leading the program to its first two Sweet Sixteen appearances and the program’s only berth in the TSSAA Tournament in 2009. He was also named Conference Coach of the Year four times. Before becoming the head coach, Wade spent the previous three seasons as the junior varsity coach, compiling an overall record of 75-4. During his first 12 years at Tennessee High, Wade served as an assistant in the baseball, track and field, and football programs. He also served in various roles in special education at Tennessee High and Vance Middle schools.

Before coming to Bristol, Coach Wade served as a special education assistant and the head girls basketball coach at Sullivan North High School, his high school alma mater. He also coached several other sports during his tenure at Sullivan North.

Wade received a bachelor’s degree in special education from Virginia Intermont College, a master’s in educational leadership from Union College, and an educational specialist’s degree from Lincoln Memorial University. He is also certified in athletic administration through NIAAA. He lives in Abingdon with his wife Heather and their three daughters.

In addition to Wade and Walters, the TIAAA also recognized the following individuals:

  • TIAAA Loyalty Award: Mark Reeves, TSSAA Assistant Executive Director
  •  NIAAA State Award of Merit: Patrick Miller, CMAA Clarksville Northeast Middle School
  • J. Richard Carroll Legacy Award: Jeromy Davidson, CAA Westview High School
  • Middle Tennessee Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Josh Corey, Tennessee Titans
  •  West Tennessee Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Scott Taylor, State Farm Insurance
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