Caesar Nettles, a longtime assistant with the Riverdale Baptist School football team, was hired in early January to take over as coach at the Upper Marlboro private school.
Nettles, 37, had been the defensive coordinator since 2006. He replaces Bob Shields, who resigned in December after eight years leading the team.
“We're excited what about what he's going to bring to the table and continue what Shields has done,” Riverdale Baptist Athletic Director Terry Terrill said.
Shields, The Gazette's 2013 Coach of the Year in Prince George's County, said he stepped down from the position to spend more time with his family, which is dealing with medical challenges. The Crusaders went 11-0 last season, winning the Capital Area Football Conference championship in Shields' final season. “It's really hard to improve upon a team that went undefeated like we did last year,” Nettles said, “But the first thing I told the guys is, I want to improve the great team and turn it into a great program.”
Nettles is the camp director of Sound Mind Sound Body, a football academy designed to help students with academics, athletics and life skills development. He also works as a director of strategic operations for SWP System, LLC, a government consulting firm.
Nettles played football at Hampton University and has experience coaching at the youth level.
“I really wanted to learn how to be a better Christian while becoming the best football coach I could be, and that's what Riverdale offered me,” Nettles said.
An Upper Marlboro resident, Nettles said he hopes to coach at Riverdale Baptist long term.
“I'll be there as long as they'll have me,” Nettles said.