Overton High School stadium may add new name - WSMV Channel 4

Overton High School stadium may add new name

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Many people involved with one area school are furious at possible changes for their historic football stadium.

Nick Coutras was a state champion coach at Overton High School, helped build the stadium by hand and was an early supporter of minority participation in sports.

The whole community celebrated when Overton decided to name the facility Nick Coutras Stadium in his honor, but now that is in danger of being changed.

"His hands are on the field. He's the one who put in the time and effort to make it what it is today," said Overton graduate Jack McKenzie.

Coutras' son still remembers his dad's obsession with making Overton's football field something to be proud about.

"He was willing to give his free time and labor to the athletic facilities at Overton High School," Nick Coutras said. "For 16 years, I worked as a child with wheelbarrows, rakes, shovels, everything you could imagine."

But in 2006, retiring principal Monica Dillard put in a recommendation to the Metro School Board to rename football field the Jo Ann Hood Field, after the highly respected and successful band director.

Neither the Coutras family nor the athletics department was notified.

Then, in 2011, the renaming passed its first reading at the school board. Now, everyone affiliated feels betrayed and caught off guard.

"Nobody knew it was going on until after the fact," said Overton Head Football Coach Terry Anderson. "Everyone was being kept in the dark, and really I think it was because it didn't have the support of the community as a whole."

Anderson has been at the school for 38 years and is asking the school board to stop the renaming.

"Do what's right. Do what that community wants you to do. That's who you are supposed to be representing, is the community. The community didn't even know this was going on."

The three members of the school board's renaming committee did not respond to requests for comment.

The renaming had been scheduled for a final vote next Tuesday, however it has now been pulled from the agenda for further discussion.

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