Providence Academy Hires George Pitts as New Athletic Director
Head of School Ben Holland announced the hiring of TSSAA Hall of Famer, George Pitts, to serve as the new Athletic Director for Providence Academy after Martin Sells retires this year.
Known for his passion, Pitts has served as head coach for the King University Tornadoes since 2006 leading the team to three NCAA Southeast Regional appearances, multiple conference and regular season championships, and seven 20-win seasons. While at King, he was also named the conference coach of the year three times.
Prior to his King tenure, Pitts coached for 30 years at the high school level, picking up 820 wins. During that time, he garnered seven TSSAA State Championships while coaching at Brentwood Academy and Science Hill High School, the most in TSSAA boys’ basketball history. His teams also claimed 15 district championships and 12 regional and sub-state championships. Pitts shared, “I look forward to getting back in high school. I spent 36 years in high school—30 as a head coach and probably 6 or 7 of those years as Athletic Director. I’ve had several stops on my journey. I’ve enjoyed every one of them. When I knew that I was not going back to King, I prayed that the Lord would open up a door for me, and this happened, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
A Christ-centered school with the highest ACT average in the region for the past 15 years, Providence Academy is gaining traction in its athletic program. Head of School Ben Holland along with current Athletic Director, Martin Sells, have expressed a commitment to building a solid and competitive program while maintaining a gospel-focused and college preparatory experience. Over the past year, PA has made many leaps in their athletics program, welcoming several coaches who Holland refers to as “leaders in the community in both faith and athletics.” These hires include World Series Champion Jeff Reed to lead the baseball program, former UT Vol Damon Johnson to coach varsity basketball, and decorated college standout Taylor Goines to coach volleyball. PA will also add Coach Michael Burns from Oak Hill Academy, one of USA Today’s 2017 best basketball programs of the decade. Ben Holland shared, “Providence Academy is a Christ-centered school that strives for excellence not only in academics but also in fine arts and athletics. We foster a community which allows our students to flourish in all three areas while glorifying God. A man known for his faith, commitment to excellence, and years of coaching experience, George Pitts is a perfect fit to lead our school’s competitive athletic program.”
Martin Sells has led PA athletics for the past 21 years, building the program from the ground up while coaching soccer, basketball, and baseball and also teaching. During his time as coach he earned 504 wins in basketball, 331 wins in soccer, and 310 wins in baseball. Leaving a legacy behind of more than just wins, Sells stated, “No matter whether or not they played ball for me, what I will remember isn’t the games or championships, but the faces. If I only led players to wins and not Christ, then I would have failed. This was what God called me to do—a mission field.” Sells, looking forward to retirement with his wife, shared that his hope for the future of the program as it continues to grow to greater heights is that no matter what “Christ comes first.”