The 2018 high school football season will see Todd Tiller back home in Dickenson County, Virginia.

Tiller confirmed on Wednesday that he has stepped down as Fort Chiswell’s head coach and will serve as an assistant for the Ridgeview Wolfpack of the Mountain 7 District.

Tiller is a 1996 graduate of Haysi, which consolidated with Clintwood in the fall of 2015 to form Ridgeview.

“It was an opportunity to get closer to home and closer to family,” Tiller said. “I have kids and I want them to be able to see their grandparents as much as possible. This move was about family more than anything.”

Fort Chiswell went 16-18 during Tiller’s three seasons at the helm of the program. The Pioneers made the playoffs twice and got markedly better under Tiller’s watch.

After going winless in 2015, Fort Chiswell was 9-4 and reached the VHSL 1A state quarterfinals in 2016.

This past season, the Pioneers were 7-4 and lost to Giles in the first round of the Region 2C playoffs.

Leaving was not easy for Tiller.

“It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I hated the timing of it. I wish it could have been a lot earlier in the year but it just didn’t work out that way,” Tiller said. “It came down to if I don’t take this opportunity now I don’t know when this situation with location and job would come open again.

“When I told the kids it was emotional for me and them. They understood the reasons. We break it down on family every day in practice and games and after I told them after the hugs and the tears they said coach let’s break it down on family one more time. … I will always be fond of the Fort and I am thankful for the opportunity and experience that Wythe County provided me.”

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