Richlands, Va. – A familiar name will lead the Richlands football team into its next era.

At its March 26 meeting the Tazewell County School Board approved Thad Wells as the replacement for Greg Mance.  Wells returns to Richlands from Mooresville NC., where he led the Blue Devils to 7-6 record and the second round of the 4A playoffs.

Prior to going to Mooresville he was the head coach at Blacksburg where he went 27-12 in three years at the helm of the Bruins with a 3A state title in 2016. He served as head coach at Colleton Prep Academy in South Carolina where he went 6-4 in one season.

He served as an assistant at Radford, Richlands and Va. High before breaking into the head coaching ranks. A Richlands native Wells played quarterback for Mance and his 2004 team won 11 straight games before losing to Salem in the playoffs.

Wells attended Emory & Henry and played football before transferring to Radford University where he graduated.   While Wells is taking the reins of the football team the school board took no action on filling the athletic director’s job which Mance shared with his wife, Ann.

They had filled the boys’ track coaching position earlier this year in anticipation of spring sports season starting. Wells’s name was mentioned in connection with the job from the time it came open last month.

Mance held the post for 23 years before resigning to become the head coach at Lorris South Carolina. Mance filed his retirement papers as a teacher in Virginia effective May 1. The personnel list did not list a start date for Wells.

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