Arnold, who was unavailable for comment, is pursuing other opportunites outside of the coaching and teaching profession, according to a resignation letter given to Daniel Boone athletic director Danny Good.
The resignation caught Good and others in the Boone athletic department off-guard, especially with Arnold’s recent success. He compiled an 81-62 record over the past five seasons. The Trailblazers finished 16-15 this season, giving them a winning record in four of their past five seasons.
Arnold’s best year was 2010 when the Trailblazers defeated Science Hill to win the District 1-AAA championship. They beat the Hilltoppers again in the Region 1-AAA semifinals and went on to play in the sectional round, losing to Knox Bearden.
“We’re just four years removed from winning the district, going to the regional final and going to the sub-state,” Good said. “We played in the region again last year. He’s been the league and area coach of the year. There have been a lot of positive things.”
According to Good, those positive things are both on and off the court. They include starting up the Trailblazer Invitational, a middle school basketball tournament which has grown from a pair of games to a full week’s worth of action.
“We see the intangibles that a lot of folks don’t see from time to time like the Trailblazer Invitational, which has 38 middle school teams and even more on the waiting list to get in. It’s like that yearly,” Good said. “Financially, the basketball program was more than self-supporting as far as fundraising.”
Good also talked of the challenge Arnold faced of replacing Northeast Tennessee Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Snyder, who won 835 games at Boones Creek and Daniel Boone before retiring in 2005. In fact, Daniel Boone has had just two head basketball coaches since the school was formed in 1971.
“When you replace a legend like he did Coach Snyder, it’s usually hard to be successful,” Good said. “He came in a short time and did a lot of good things, and was successful.”
As for Arnold’s replacement, Good said it’s still early in the process. Good is scheduled to meet with Washington County Director of Schools Ron Dykes today to discuss the vacancy and plans of moving forward.
“We will get together and we will post the job like our board of education does with all positions,” Good said. “The timing of it was surprising, but Coach Arnold didn’t leave the program in bad shape by no means. We have time between now and May to find a successor. We will do our best to put our kids in a position to be successful.”