Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


‘First And 13’ With Mercy’s New Head Football Coach

By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published September 11, 2008

Chad Flatt is the new head football coach at Our Lady of Mercy High School, after serving at the Fairburn school as an assistant coach for the team. He inherited a Mercy football program that went 4-6 during the 2007 season, and the team hopes for improvement this year.

OLM athletic director Bill Schmitz believes Flatt will “lead (the) program to great success.”

He said, “Coach Flatt is a very dedicated coach. He has taken the position of head coach very seriously and has a great passion for the game of football, as well as for his players. He is a strict disciplinarian, but he is also the first one to check on the guys to see how ‘everything’ is going for them, not just football.” He added, “Coach Flatt is a driven and passionate man, but he is also one of the nicest men you will meet.”

Flatt has been married to his wife, the former Kelly Martz of Pittsburgh, for five years, and they have a 3-year-old son named Jackson. Flatt and his family attend Holy Trinity Church, Peachtree City.

Coach Chad Flatt is the new head football coach at Our Lady of Mercy High School, Fairburn. He will also continue in his role as offensive coordinator. Photo By Michael Alexander

The new head coach took 13 questions from The Georgia Bulletin during a recent interview.

GB: You have been an assistant coach on the staff. How many years have you been there and what was your role?

Flatt: This is my third year, and I served as the offensive coordinator for the past two years.

GB: The Our Lady of Mercy football team posted a school best of 4-6 last season. What will it take to get the team its first winning season?

Flatt: Continued improvement and consistency from players and coaches.

GB: What will your coaching approach be for bringing a winning mentality and spirit to the Mercy football program?

Flatt: We are really trying to understand that the success from last year doesn’t matter now. Every day is new, and you have to use all your talent every day.

GB: Is there anything the fans and student body should look for this season that they haven’t seen before?

Flatt: Hopefully they will be able to experience some exciting games.

GB: What city were you raised in—and what is it known for?

Flatt: Sparta, Tenn. My great, great uncle, Lester Flatt, was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Flatt and Scruggs bluegrass band. They performed the Beverly Hillbillies theme song, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett.” (Editor’s note: Lester Flatt died May 11, 1979, but his partner Earl Scruggs is still living. Flatt and Scruggs were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.)

GB: Did you play football or any other sport at your high school and college, and if so, what position?

Flatt: Yes, I played football at both. I played offensive and defensive lineman at White County High School. I played right guard at Maryville College, Maryville, Tenn.

GB: Who is your favorite professional team when it comes to football and one other sport of your choice?

Flatt: Tennessee Titans (football) and Nashville Predators (hockey). (The coach’s wife is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so occasionally they become a “house divided” during the season.)

GB: Have you seen one or both of your favorite teams play in person?

Flatt: I have seen the Titans multiple times, but I have not been able to see the Predators in person.

GB: Who is your favorite football player on offense and defense?

Flatt: Offense: David Stewart, right tackle for the Tennessee Titans. Defense: It’s a tie between defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and cornerback Cortland Finnegan of the Tennessee Titans.

GB: Are there any coaches (on any level) who you’ve looked up to over the years?

Flatt: Phil Wilks (college head coach from Maryville); Pat Dyer (offensive line coach from high school); Tim Hammontree (defensive coordinator at East Paulding High School); Ed Stokes (head coach at Central Gwinnett High School); Eric Thurston (defensive coordinator at Monroe Area High School); Jeff Arnette (defensive coordinator at Valdosta High School—he was my high school defensive coordinator); Steve Skeen (former offensive line coach at Shiloh High School); and Robbie Caldwell (offensive line coach at Vanderbilt University).

GB: What is your favorite sports movie?

Flatt: “Rocky III”—Mr. T should have won an Oscar for that performance.

GB: What type of music do you like and who are your top four favorite artists?

Flatt: Country—Johnny Cash, Kenny Chesney and Big and Rich (that’s Big Kenny and John Rich).

GB: What is your favorite Scripture passage, especially during football season?

Flatt: Romans 8:28-39.