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Bearden High School (Tennessee)

Bearden High School
Motto "A Proud Tradition of Excellence"
Established 1939
Type Public High School
Principal John Bartlett
Teaching staff 106
Students 1,927
Grades 9-12
Location 8352 Kingston Pike,
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Colors Maroon and Gray
Athletics Football, Basketball, Baseball, Cross Country, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track & Field, Volleyball, Rugby, Climbing, Ice Hockey, Lacrosse, Wrestling, Ping Pong.
Nickname Bulldogs
Mascot Bulldog

Bearden High School is a Knox County, Tennessee, high school located in the Bearden area in the city of Knoxville.[1]

The school was founded in 1939.[2] It was named for the family of Marcus De LaFayette Bearden, a farmer who served as a captain in the Union Army during the Civil War.[3]

The current building was built in 1969, and replaced the old building that eventually became Bearden Elementary School. The current principal is John Bartlett.[4] Bearden High School athletic teams are dubbed "The Bulldogs." Bearden's rival is the Farragut Admirals.[1][5]


Early history

Bearden first opened in 1939, and had its first graduating class of 12 students in 1943. During this time, Bearden served grades 1-12 and was part of the Knox County school system. In 1949, grades 7-12 moved to a new location which then became overcrowded in that same year. Additions to this building were made almost every year to keep up with the rapidly growing student population. The city of Knoxville annexed the Bearden area in 1960, and thus Bearden became a city school. In the turbulent '60s, Bearden saw many social changes. Desegregation introduced a few African-American students with little fanfare and no major incidents. These unsung pioneers were generally accepted, but still endured racist treatment no teenager should have to face alone. The administration had its hands full with the class of '65, as they tried to enforce the buttoned-down dress and behavior codes of the '50's on a group of kids rapidly falling in love with Motown, the British invasion and Peter, Paul, and Mary. The class to this day is proud of being named by Principal William R. (RAT) Turner as his worst graduating class ever.[6] In 1969, grades 10-12 moved into the current location of Bearden High School. In 1980, Bearden added a 9th grade when Bearden Junior High became a middle school. At this time, Knoxville city schools were transferred, and Bearden became part of Knox County schools.

Changes to the school

In 1995 Bearden High School, along with all of Knox County High Schools, switched to a block schedule. The schedule is split into two semesters each with four classes lasting 90 minutes each. During the mid-nineties, Bearden experienced a major overcrowding situation; with some classes in converted shop areas and almost every classroom was used all day every day. Many storage areas and offices were being used as classrooms, and Bearden was beginning to show its age. In 1998, Bearden undertook major renovations which goals were to provide more classrooms to solve the overcrowding issues, and bring the school into the present. The renovations added 30 new classrooms, a new guidance complex, renovations to existing classrooms, new science labs, and Internet capability in each classroom. Also, the school received a new heating and air system, fire alarm and sprinkler system, bell and telephone system, a math lab, an English writing lab, and a greenhouse on the second floor.


Bearden has taken pride not only in its academics, but as well as its athletics. Many sports teams are offered, and many of them are highly ranked in the state. Some, like Swimming and Diving, have won titles for multiple years.


Bearden High School has a long standing tradition of success in varsity football in Knox and surrounding counties. Bearden fielded it first varsity football team in 1949. In 1969, Bearden High School moved to its current location, 8352 Kingston Pike, and since then games have been played at Bill Young Field. NFL punters Dustin and Britton Colquitt played football at Bearden High School.


  • Casey Stephenson - 1949-1955
  • Ermel Howard- 1956-1963
  • Jim Smelcher - 1964-1973
  • Bill Young - 1977-1980
  • Bob Whetsel - 1981-1983
  • Mike Ledford- 1984-1987
  • Bill Young - 1988-2001
  • Paul Maynard - 2002-2005
  • Bill Wilson - 2006-2006
  • Brad Taylor- 2007–2013
  • Morgan Shinlever - 2014 - Present


in 2012 the lady bulldogs went to the state championship for the first time in 30 years! Thanks to the help of Tyler Carter, Lexus Norwood, an Erin Walsh The lady bulldogs returned again in 2015 and made it all the way to the semi-finals for the first time!


Cross country




Swimming and diving

Bearden has enjoyed a long, rich history of swimming. The Bearden Swim Team, (BEST) was founded in 1960 as a club sport, and continues to be prevalent today. As of 2013, roughly 100 swimmers are on the team, and BEST is ranked first in Knoxville and third in the state of Tennessee. The mascot was slightly changed for swimming and is called the Aquadog, staying true to the original mascot. Bearden has had many successful swimmers who have moved on to Collegiate, and even the International spotlight. The Swimming and Diving team is under TISCA and KISL rules, respectively, and competes yearly at the City and State meets. Practices and meets for the team are held at UT's Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.


  • Justin Baxter (Head Coach)
  • Ben Whiteside (Assistant Coach)
  • Kelsey Floyd (Assistant Coach)

City and state titles

  • 2013 - 3rd (263.0 Points)
  • 2012 - 3rd (260.0 Points)
  • 2011 - 2nd (379.0 Points)
  • 2010 - 3rd (328.0 Points)
  • 2008 - 3rd (301.0 Points)
  • 2005 - 1st (? Points)
  • 2014 - 1st (531.0 Points)
  • 2013 - 1st (653.0 Points)
  • 2012 - 1st (690 Points)
  • 2011 - 1st (747.5 Points)
  • 2010 - 1st (771.5 Points)
  • 2009 - 1st (721 Points)
  • 2008 - 2nd (626 Points)
  • 2007 - 1st (747 Points)
  • 2006 - 1st (775 Points)
  • 2005 - 1st (860 points)
  • 2004 - 2nd (587 Points)
  • 2003 - 3rd (623 Points)
  • 2002 - 2nd (565 Points)

Notable Swimmers and Divers

  • Caleb Allen - Collegiate swimmer for Case Western Reserve University: Sprint Freestyle/Butterfly.
  • Cameron Bard - Collegiate swimmer for Davidson College: Sprint Freestyle/Butterfly.
  • Spencer Bard - Collegiate swimmer for Trinity University: Sprint Freestyle/ Butterfly.
  • Lisa Bogosian - Collegiate diver for the University of Alabama: 1 and 3 meter Springboard
  • Annie Broome - Former collegiate Swimmer for the University of Georgia: Butterfly.
  • Laurel Chaney- Collegiate swimmer for Western Kentucky University: Backstroke/ Freestyle⊇r
  • James Dail - Collegiate diver for the University of Tennessee.
  • John Paul Gaylor - Former collegiate swimmer for UNC at Chapel Hill: Distance Freestyle; Qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Trials, as well as the 2009, 2011, and 2013 World Championship Trials.
  • Chris Goodman - Collegiate swimmer for Western Kentucky University: Backstroke/IM
  • Lindsay Goodman - Collegiate swimmer for Geirgia Southern University: Backstroke/IM
  • Ally Hardesty - Collegiate swimmer for UNC at Chapel Hill: Sprint Freestyle.
  • Cameron Higdon - Former collegiate swimmer for WKU: IM/Fly.
  • Kennedy Higdon - Collegiate swimmer for the University of Tennessee: Freestyle/Butterfly/IM. Qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Trials.
  • Tori Lamp - Collegiate diver for UTK: 1 and 3 meter Springboard/Platform; Qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Trials. Qualified for the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Sarah McCall - Former collegiate swimmer for the University of Tennessee: Distance Free/IM/ Breast.
  • Brent Owen - Former collegiate swimmer for the University of Tennessee: Free/Back; Qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Trials.
  • Landon Owen - Former collegiate swimmer for the University of Tennessee: Butterfly/Back.
  • Evan Pinion - Collegiate swimmer for the University of Tennessee: Distance Freestyle; Qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Trials.
  • Hannah Pinion - Collegiate swimmer for Southern Illinois University Carbondale: Back/IM.
  • AJ Tipton - Collegiate swimmer for the University of Arizona: Butterfly.

City Records

  • Men’s 200yd Medley Relay - 1:37.25 (2013)
  • Women’s 200yd Freestyle - Ally Hardesty - 1:50.98 (2012)
  • Men’s 200yd Individual Medley - Evan Pinion - 1:51.85 (2013)
  • Women’s 50yd Freestyle - Ally Hardesty - 23.97 (2010)
  • Men’s 50yd Freestyle - Brent Owen - 21.36 (1996)
  • Women’s Diving - Tori Lamp - 535.35 (2009)
  • Women’s 100yd Butterfly - Annie Broome - 56.67 (2005)
  • Women’s 100yd Freestyle - Ally Hardesty - 51.85 (2010)
  • Men’s 100yd Backstroke - Evan Pinion - 50.10 (2013)
  • Women’s 100yd Breaststroke - Sarah McCall - 1:05.13 (2005)
  • Men’s 400yd Freestyle Relay - 3:13.96 (2012)


Track and field




Boy's rugby


Bearden Rugby began in 2001, and was a founding member of the Smoky Mountain Conference of the Tennessee High School Rugby League in 2002.

Head coaches
  • 2001-2005 Mike Dulin
  • 2005-2009 Chuck Wurl
  • 2009-2010 Gareth Davies
  • 2010–Present Marty Bradley
Assistant coaches
  • 2001-2003 Scott Adcox
  • 2003-2005 Chuck Wurl
  • 2005-2007 Caleb Arnwine
  • 2007-2009 Oliver Frankel
  • 2009-2010 Ethan Rosenblum, Cam Davies
  • 2010-2011 Ethan Rosenblum, Rick Wheeler
  • 2011–Present Ethan Rosenblum, Dwayne Archer


Ice hockey

Notable alumni


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Bearden High - Bearden High Home". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  2. "Bearden High School Knoxville TN 37901". Livestrong.Com. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  3. Robert J. Booker, Sources good for schools' history, Knoxville News Sentinel, January 17, 2006.
  4. Davis, Marti. "Officials: Knowledge of audit wouldn't have swayed choice of Bearden principal » Knoxville News Sentinel". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  5. "Bearden High - Bearden Varsity Football Overview". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  7. "Bearden High School Class of 1978". 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  9. "Burchett plans run for Knox mayor » Knoxville News Sentinel". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  10. "Brett Carroll". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  11. "Brett Carroll Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights | Team". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  12. "Official Site of the Denver Broncos". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  13. "Dustin Colquitt, P for the Kansas City Chiefs at". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  14. Dale Dickey - Biography
  15. "Mike Difelice Statistics and History". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  16. Janice Reilly. "Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  17. "BHS grad uses noodle for oodles of doodles » Knoxville News Sentinel". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  18. "Thomas A. Varlan biography". 1956-07-08. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  19. "History of the Federal Judiciary". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  20. "Knoxville, Tennessee: Bearden High School Alumni List at NamesDatabase". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  21. "Women of the American Revolution - Elizabeth, Grace and Rachel Martin". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  22. "Global Evangelical Accrediting Commission". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  23. "Welcome To My Homepage". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  25. "Net Connection: Woodruff's pro tennis career almost never happened » Mobile". Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  26. "Michael DeLorenzo". Retrieved 2013-07-07. 

Bearden 5

External links