Head football coach Bill Dee departs Oscar Smith

Legendary Hampton Roads football coach Bill Dee.

Former Oscar Smith head football coach Bill Dee.

Former Oscar Smith head football coach Bill Dee.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Oscar Smith, VHSL’s Group 6A runner-up each of the past two seasons, is looking for its third head football coach in three years.

“We were disappointed to lose a coach of his stature, but we understand this is much bigger than football,” Oscar Smith Athletic Director Ray Collins told News 3 about the departure of head coach Bill Dee.

Dee stepped down as Tigers bench boss Tuesday, citing health concerns – issues that have been present since the spring, when Dee first took the Oscar Smith job.

“He did an amazing job – just remarkable,” Collins said of Dee’s performance this season – leading the Tigers to the 6A state title game.

While the Tigers are forced to find a head football coach for the third straight year, Collins says Smith is in a good spot.

“When Coach [Richard] Morgan left last year, we also lost a chunk of our staff,” Collins explained. “There won’t be as much turmoil this time around.”

When asked if the Tigers would promote from within or hire a coach from the outside, Collins said the school and the administration will do “what’s best for the kids”.

Legendary Hampton Roads football coach Bill Dee.

Legendary Hampton Roads football coach Bill Dee.

Dee is a legend in Hampton Roads football – spending more than 30 years at the high school level, while also spending time on the coaching staffs of Old Dominion and Christopher Newport University. Dee won four state titles for Phoebus High School during more than two decades as head coach of the Phantoms.

Oscar Smith has won 91 straight Southeastern district games. Collins says not long after the news of Dee’s departure became public, he’d already received several emails and resumes from coaches hoping to fill the vacancy.

“We’ll perform our due diligence,” Collins insisted, when speaking of the search to find a new head coach.

Whether Bill Dee’s replacement comes from within the current staff, or from the outside – it will likely be several weeks before we know who it is, as Chesapeake Schools is expected to take a minimum of two weeks to allow applicants to submit their names and resumes.