Bernard Childress

Inducted 2024

Bernard Childress began his distinguished career in education and athletics at Columbia Central High School, his alma mater, where he dedicated himself to teaching and coaching, nurturing young minds both in the classroom and on the sports field. His journey in athletics administration took a significant step forward when he served as the Assistant Men’s basketball coach at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) for one year. Returning to his roots in secondary education, Childress then held the roles of Assistant Principal at Columbia Central High School for four years and Principal at Whitthorne Middle School for five years, showcasing his leadership and commitment to student development.

In 1995, Childress's path led him to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA), where he joined as an Assistant Executive Director. His role included the oversight of the Tennessee Middle School Athletic Association (TMSAA) and managing the sports of softball and cross country, demonstrating his versatile contribution to school sports. His dedicated service earned him the position of Executive Director in 2009, making him only the fourth individual to hold this prestigious role. During his tenure, Childress played a pivotal role in leading the TSSAA through numerous initiatives and challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of significant technology projects, and the fostering of partnerships such as the InsideOut Initiative with the Tennessee Titans and NFL Foundation.

Under Childress’s leadership, the TSSAA saw the introduction of girls’ wrestling and developed the “Coaching Link” rule to promote fairness. His tenure also witnessed structural changes within the association, such as adding more Board of Control and Council members and separating public and private schools into two divisions. For his outstanding contributions, Childress was honored with the NFHS Citation Award in 2005. Upon his retirement in 2022, his legacy within TSSAA and Tennessee's educational athletics was cemented, leading to his well-deserved induction into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 2024.

TSSAA Hall of Fame
Class: 2024
Category: Administrator

Other 2024 Inductees

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