Clarksville Wildcats Coaching Staff

Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator

Isaac Shelby

Coach Isaac Shelby is entering his 16th year as a Head Coach and his 10th as the Head Coach of Clarksville High School. Coach Shelby graduated from CHS in 2001, and returned in 2004 to be an Assistant Coach. He became the Special Teams Coordinator in 2006, helping the team advance to the state quarterfinals and was ranked in the top 10 in the state. Coach Shelby then took over as the Offensive Coordinator in 2007, directing a high powered offense that went on to win the school’s first Region Championship since 1981.

From 2008-2009, Coach Shelby was the Offensive Coordinator and Recruiting Director at the nearby Northeast High School, before taking over as the Head Coach in 2010. Under Coach Shelby, Northeast quickly became a state powerhouse, making the playoffs four years in a row, with consecutive trips to the state quarterfinals, followed by a trip to the state semifinals. In only four short years, Coach Shelby became the winningest coach ever for Northeast High School, a record that still stands today.

Coach Shelby returned to Clarksville High in 2014 planning to lead his alma-mater back into playoff contention. And in his first season back Coach Shelby did just that. CHS returned to the playoffs for the first time in three years. During his tenure, Shelby has guided the Wildcats to several milestones including the most successful regular season in almost two decades, the team’s first home playoff win since 2007, and also consecutive second round playoff berths – the first time that has happened since he was the Coordinator in 2006-2007.

As a Head Coach, Shelby has accomplished:

  • 45-13 record against teams in the city
  • Made the playoffs ten out of twelve years, with a 10-9 playoff record
  • Been named All-Area Coach of the Year four times – 2021, 2019, 2013, 2012
  • Coached 13 players to the Tennessee All-Star Game
  • Coached 62 players who went on to play college football, 2 of whom went on to play in the NFL

Shelby received his Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance from Austin Peay State University, and his Master’s Degree in Education from Bethel University. He teaches Physical Education, Weightlifting and Interdisciplinary Studies. Isaac and his wife Katie have been married for 16 years, and have a daughter named Luci Claire.

Defensive Coordinator/Director of Athletic Performance

Taylor Stanley

Coach Stanley is entering his 10th season on staff at Clarksville High School, and his 8th as Defensive Coordinator and Director of Athletic Performance. A former player for Coach Shelby, Taylor has played a pivotal role in helping CHS advance to the second round of the playoffs for four consecutive years for the first time in school history. During his tenure at Clarksville, he has coached every single position on the defensive side of the ball. In addition to leading the defense, he is also in charge of programming, implementing, and overseeing all of the Athletic Performance training for the team. 

Coach Stanley is a 2007 graduate of Clarksville High School and was 2 time all area and all region performer on the gridiron. After CHS, he continued his athletic career at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 2007-2011 where he was a 3 time letter winner and an Academic All-American. He has degrees from Tennessee Martin (Bachelor’s), Georgia Southern (Master’s), and Arkansas State (Ed.S.). He and his wife Ally have been married for 6 years and have two sons, Beau and Tate.

Inside Linebackers

Ken Freeman

Ken Freeman, a California native, came to Clarksville courtesy of the U.S. Army. He played his collegiate football for the Merced College Blue Devils in California as a Wide Receiver, Defensive Back, and Kick Returner. 

After graduating from Merced, Coach Freeman enlisted in the U.S. Army where he spent 8 years supporting various operations, including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. After ending his military service in 2005, Coach Freeman then earned his B.S. in History with minors in Geography and Professional Education from Austin Peay State University. He has also earned a Master of Educational Technology degree from Boise State University. 

Coach Freeman began his coaching career with Coach Shelby at Northeast High School in 2008 as an assistant coach. Coach Freeman joined the Clarksville High School coaching staff during the 2015 season and is currently coaching Inside Linebackers.  Coach Freeman also teaches U.S. History at CHS.

Outside Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator

Stephen Conway

Stephen Conway is beginning his 6th year at Clarksville High School where he is the Special Teams Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach. During his time at CHS, he has also coached the H backs and the Outside Linebackers. Conway graduated in 2001 from Central Hardin High School in Cecilia, Kentucky where he earned letters in football, track, baseball, and wrestling. After high school he went on to play college football at the University of Toledo.

Shortly after arriving at Toledo, the events of September 11th, 2001 set his course on a different path as he was led to enlist in the United States Army as an infantryman to support, defend, and protect the United States.  After several deployments and multiple combat injuries, Conway made the tough decision to medically retire from the Army after 12 years of service.

Being a stark believer that life lessons and maturity are cultivated on the field of play, he felt the need to lead, teach, and mentor through coaching high school sports. Before coming to CHS, he was the Linebackers coach at Northeast where he coached all three of the starting linebackers to the All Region team. Since his arrival at Clarksville High, he has helped lead 5 Outside Linebackers to the All Region team, and 2 Defensive Linemen.

Conway serves as an active, ordained deacon at Hilldale Baptist Church. He is married to Hannah Conway, and the couple share three kids: Mclain, Jadelyn, and Willa.

Running Backs

Jay Bailey

Jay Bailey graduated from Clarksville High School in 1998 having lettered in football, basketball, and track. During his high school career he was awarded many all-area and all-regional honors. After high school, Jay went on to play one season of junior college basketball at Volunteer State, after which Jay returned home to Clarksville and Austin Peay State University to play football from 2000 to 2002. Jay was inducted into the Austin Peay State University Hall of Fame in 2011. 

Jay joined the Clarksville high football coaching staff in 2006; he also began coaching basketball two years later. Jay serves as assistant strength and conditioning coach as well as the Running Backs coach. When not at CHS, he is the Wellness Director at the Clarksville Area YMCA as well as a Personal Trainer

Isaiah Johnson

Coach Isaiah Johnson — Entering his 3rd season coaching Running Backs for Clarksville High School. In his first season coaching, Coach Johnson helped lead CHS to a second round playoff contest with an offense that ended the season rushing for over 4,000 yards. In only his second season coaching, Coach Johnson has now coached two different RBs who have broken single season rushing yard and rushing TD records that previously had not been broken in nearly a decade. 

He provides an in-depth knowledge of the game developed over his extensive playing career. Coach Johnson played for Rossview High School, Class of 2015, where he set 12 different school records, most notably: 5,635 career rushing yards, 71 career rushing TDs, while averaging 185 yards per game his senior year. His senior season, Coach Johnson was also a part of the historical Rossview team that captured the school’s first and only playoff victory. Additionally, Coach Johnson received All-Area, All-District, All-Region, and All-State honors, and was selected on the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle All-Decade Team in 2020.  

After high school, Johnson went on to play football at Moorpark College Junior College in Moorpark, California. During those two seasons Johnson was named Student Athlete of the Year. Earned 1st Team and 2nd Team All-SCFA honors, and his accomplishments ultimately earned him a full ride scholarship offer to Eastern Illinois University, where he majored in Kinesiology & Sport Studies. 

During two seasons at EIU, Johnson was All-OVC both years, earning 1st Team honors in 2018. His All-Conference play earned him a roster slot in the FCS Spiral Bowl game where he was named the 2018 FCS Spiral Bowl Offensive MVP.  

Beyond college, Johnson earned an NFL Rookie Camp Invitation with the Buffalo Bills, and later, signed with the CFL Ottawa Redblacks in Ontario, Canada. Additionally had a contract with the Indoor Arena League with the Frisco Fighters in Frisco, Texas.

In addition to speed, agility, and strength training for athletes around Clarksville, Coach Johnson’s most recent endeavor(s) include a role as an extra in the movie, 

American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story


Kyle Sickel

Coach Kyle Sickel — Entering his 4th season coaching at Clarksville High School. Prior to CHS, he coached one season prior at Northpoint Christian School in Southaven, Mississippi. Coach Sickel oversees Quarterbacks and Offensive development. During the 2020 season Coach Sickel led Sophomore Quarterback Davin Garinger to the Region 7-5A Quarterback of the Year. Coach Sickel is uniquely positioned at CHS having played Quarterback / named Team Captain at Clarksville High on Team 108, Class of 2015. 

After graduating from Clarksville High, Sickel attended Ouachita Baptist University, received his Bachelor’s degree and was commissioned into the US Army Reserve. Sickel currently serves on a task force in support of JSOC. Coach Sickel and his wife Abby, who is also a Clarksville High alum, have been married for four years.

Coach Kyle Sickel has also trained as a Lead Coach for QB Vision under Max Staver specializing in training Quarterbacks of all ages within the private sector as well.

Offensive Assistant

Marcus Lawrence

Marcus Lawrence graduated from Clarksville High School in 2001. As a four year player, he played a large part in elevating the program to its most successful season in over 20 years as a senior and Team Captain of the 2000 Wildcat football team who finished region runner up at 10-2. After graduating, Marcus attended Tennessee State University in 2001 where he played football. After this, he would go on to play with multiple local semi pro football organizations. In 2022, he graduated from Bethel University with a degree in Organizational Leadership.  Marcus began coaching in the Clarksville Junior Pro League in 2015, and was the Head Coach of the Richview Cowboys from 2020-2021. In his two seasons as head coach, he completely turned the program around from winless in 2019 to city champions in 2021.

Marcus joined the Clarksville High staff in 2022 Serving as an Offensive Assistant. When not at CHS, Marcus works for the Clarksville Department of Electricity. He is Married to Amanda Lawrence and has three children Olivia, Rayshawn, and Tyson.

H Backs

Jim Irwin

Coach Jim Irwin is entering his 4th season of coaching, and 3rd season for the Wildcats. Born and raised in Clarksville, TN, Coach Irwin brings a dynamic perspective to coaching Offensive Line as he has played nearly every position on the line himself at both the high school and college levels. Coach Irwin played for Rossview High School, Class of 2015, where he started 42 varsity games during his career. Coach Irwin received multiple All-Area, All-District, All-Region, and All-State awards. Coach Irwin was a major contributor his senior year as a part of the historical Rossview team that captured the school’s first and only playoff victory. 

Irwin went on to play for Austin Peay State University, where he was converted to play Tight End for the Governors. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Health & Human Performance with a minor in K-12 Education. Coach Irwin works as the Physical Education teacher for us at Clarksville High School.

Wide Receivers

Ethan Schmidt

Coach Ethan Schmidt enters his 4th season working with Wide Receivers at Clarksville High School. After graduating from Clarksville High School as a three time letter winner for the Wildcats’ Football and Track & Field Team in 2009, Coach Schmidt attended Austin Peay State University where he received his Bachelors in Broadcasting and Masters in Corporate Communication. 

After graduating from APSU, Coach Schmidt started a television broadcasting career that allowed him to cover Professional, Collegiate, and high school programs in multiple states. In 2020, he found his way back to Clarksville and joined the Wildcats football staff. He would reunite with Head Coach Isaac Shelby who served as his position coach and offensive coordinator during his prep career at CHS. 

In his free time, Coach Schmidt enjoys getting to talk sports on his own local sports talk show, hosting the Isaac Shelby Coach’s Show podcast, and calling sports at Austin Peay on ESPN Clarksville and ESPN+. In his personal life, Coach Schmidt is married to his wife, Cali, and has two cats and a dog.


Ben Fryer

Coach Ben Fryer is entering his 3rd season as a coach at the Clarksville High School. His first two seasons were as an analyst, and this year he will lead the Cornerbacks. Born and raised in Clarksville, Ben graduated with Honors from CHS in 2020, and played football for Coach Shelby from 2017-2019. Not only was he a letter winner in football, but he was also a part of the CHS Academy of Business and Finance, Drama Club, and Clarksville Crazies. 

Ben is currently a student at Austin Peay State University where he is a Health and Human Performance K-12 major and on the Dean’s List. After graduation, his goal is to teach and coach full time.