Ed Sanders 

Franklin Road Academy has hired a former college coach with local ties to run its football team's defense. 

Ed Sanders, Tennessee State's former defensive coordinator, has been hired for the same job at FRA, the school announced this week. He will also join the faculty as a middle school physical education teacher. 

"It is an honor and blessing to join the rich tradition that FRA is known for," Sanders said in a release. "I can't wait to hit the ground running in the classroom and on the football field. Go Panthers!" 

"We are thrilled to have Ed join the FRA community as a teacher and coach," Head of School Sean Casey said in the release. "He will be a great addition to our faculty and he will have an immediate impact across campus. He is a talented educator and coach. His collegiate coaching experience will prove invaluable for our student-athletes preparing for college football and beyond as we continue to support our kids and grow our program." 

Sanders, a four-year defensive back for TSU, played in the Canadian Football League for some time before starting his coaching career. 

To start his 15-year coaching career, he spent four years at Delaware State as its special teams coordinator before returning to his alma mater, TSU, to be its DC for seven seasons. 

"I have known Coach Sanders for a number of years, dating back to when he recruited our student-athletes to play for him at Tennessee State University," said Bill Whittemore, head varsity football coach, in the release.

"I knew if the opportunity ever arose, he would be someone we would love to get here at FRA. Thankfully the timing has worked out, and we are blessed to have Ed joining our coaching staff. His expertise in the game and alignment with our mission make Ed a perfect fit for FRA. I can't wait to get him on campus and involved with our kids." 

Sanders most recently with one of FRA's rival schools, Goodpasture, as its defensive coordinator.

The Cougars defense averaged about 15 points against them a game this year through 12 contests, including three games where they held their opponents scoreless. Goodpasture topped FRA 30-3 this past fall. 

His daughter, Khalia, graduates from FRA this May. 

"Sanders has a tremendous football background and is highly respected in the Nashville community. He will be an exceptional role model and leader for our students both in the classroom and on the field," said Kris Palmerton, director of athletics, in the release. 

Sanders will start in June, according to the school. 

The Panthers went 2-6 on an abbreviated schedule this past season due to COVID-19 and didn't win a region game. Their defense surrendered about 33 points a game in eight contests. 

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