Middle Tennessee Christian School looked long and far -- literally -- to find its new football coach.
After an extensive search to find the replacemenet for Brian Stewart, who resigned in the offseason, MTCS announced on Friday its new football coach is Fred Shambaugh.
Shambaugh, who grew up in Huntingon Beach, Calif., and currently lives in Norco, Calif., was announced as the new coach at a press conference on Friday. He has more than 20 years of teaching and coaching experience at the high school level.
"I guess they contacted me about a couple months ago," Shambaugh said. "I'm still working in Orange County. ... It's a big leap. When I was telling a lot of people in California that I was coming to Tennessee, they were like 'what?'
"But a lot of people know why we're coming to Tennessee and why we're coming to MTCS. A lot of people are envious because of the environment here to raise your kids in. A lot of people wish they could make this move."
Shambaugh admits he knows little about the Cougars program, but hopes past experiences will aid him in the transition.
"I don't know a lot about the program," Shambaugh said. "I know it's relatively young, but I've opened up four new schools before. So a lot of things that have happened in the past as far as my experiences will actually help me with where MTCS is right now."
MTCS was a playoff team last season and will return several starters in 2014.
"We do have a good foundation," he said. "There are definitely some holes that we need to fill in the lineup, and we'll hard work our way through it.
"I just met with the kids, they're outstanding kids and they're intelligent. They've got great character, and I'm excited to see what we can do together."
Shambaugh said he will finish out his contract in California before moving to Tennessee.
"There's not going to be a spring practice," he said. "One of the unfortunate things is I'm not going to be able to get out here until June. So, I'm not going to be able to have a lot of contact with the kids until then."
Shambaugh most recently coached at Beckman High School where he posted a 21-14-1 record in three seasons. He led his team to the CIP Southern Division championship game last season, falling 31-30 in the finals.
Shambaugh and his wife have four children under the age of 6.