Head Coach/Defensive Backs
Matt Daniels enters the 2017 season as the new head football coach for the Ravenwood Raptors, and his second year overall with RHS. Coach Daniels is responsible for the overall management of the football program and specializes in coaching the defensive backfield for the Raptors. In 2016, Daniels was the defensive backs coach and assisted with Special Teams. The 2016 Raptor football team finished in the quarterfinals of the TSSAA State Playoffs after upsetting region top seed, Mt. Juliet, in the second round. Coach Daniels assisted with the defense that gave up just 16 points per game in region play. Prior to his arrival at Ravenwood, Coach Daniels was a consultant for nearly 7 years, before earning his Masters Degree in Education, and beginning his teaching and coaching career at Falls Church High School in Northern Virginia. During his 4 years with the Jaguars, he spent time on both sides of the ball- starting as JV Head Coach and JV Offensive Coordinator and transitioning to Varsity Defensive Backs coach and Varsity Defensive Coordinator.
Coach Daniels teaches psychology and advanced placement psychology at Ravenwood. He is from Southlake, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, and was a quarterback and outside linebacker for national powerhouse, Southlake Carroll High School ('02), before walking on the football program at Wake Forest University ('06). He and his wife, Lindsey, are residents of Franklin, Tennessee.
Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator
Ryan Fowler enters his second season with the Ravenwood Raptors as defensive coordinator and is now the associate head coach for the program. Coach Fowler coaches the linebackers, while coordinating the Raptor defense. The 2016 Raptors gave up only 16 points per game in region play. Coach Fowler is a former NFL linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, and New York Jets. Coach Fowler graduated from Seminole High School ('00) in Sanford, Florida before attending Duke University ('04). Fowler was a Freshman All-American at Duke in 2000, and was second team All-ACC in 2003.
Chandler Tygard is entering his first season at Ravenwood as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He comes to RHS from two seasons at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he was the defensive coordinator and director of communications, sports marketing, and creative design. He has over ten years of college football experience from the University of Tennessee ('05-'11), Missouri Southern State University ('13-14), and the University of the Cumberlands ('12). During his time at Tennessee as a student assistant ('05-08) and defensive quality control coach ('09-'11), Tygard worked under head coaches: Philip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin, and Derek Dooley, as well as, assistant coaches: John Chavis, Monte Kiffin, Ed Orgeron, among other prominent college coaches. Chandler hails from Nashville, Tennessee and is a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy, where he was a member of the 2002 & 2003 state championship and nationally ranked football teams, also playing baseball, wrestling, and track. He earned his bachelor's degree in history from the University of Tennessee ('08) and is married to the former Lauren Castle of South Pittsburg, Tennessee. They have a one year old son, Camp Tygard.
Andrew Elrod is entering his sixth year at Ravenwood High School, fifth as the defensive line coach. Coach Elrod is a native of Nashville, Tennessee graduating from Donelson Christian Academy in 2000. In his time at Ravenwood he has seen the Raptors go from a 3-7 season his first year with the program to winning three straight region titles, including back to back 14-1 seasons, a State Runner-Up and a State Championship. Coach Elrod also has been an assistant Wrestling Coach since he arrived at Ravenwood. In his time coaching wrestling, the team won its sixth straight region title going undefeated in region matches during the stretch. Coach Elrod's love of athletics is matched also by his love of History. He teaches Advanced Placement World History and Advanced Placement European History.
Cornerbacks/JV Defensive Coordinator
Coach McCurdy enters his 2nd year as a defensive assistant responsible for the cornerbacks. He is also returning as the defensive coordinator of the Junior Varsity team.
Abner "AB" Smith
Passing Game Coordinator/Wide Receivers/JV Head Coach
Abner “A.B.” Smith is entering his first year at Ravenwood High School as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach. He will work closely with new offensive coordinator, Chandler Tygard in establishing the foundation for the Raptors’ offense. He will also serve as the head coach of the Junior Varsity team. Coach Smith has spent a number of years coaching and brings experience from both, offense and defense. He comes to Ravenwood from Battle Ground Academy where he spent two seasons coaching receivers and defensive backs. Coach Smith is a native of Franklin, TN and attended Page High School. As a high school athlete, Abner earned a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee Martin and was a member of the 2006 OVC Championship team. While in college, Abner realized he had a passion for impacting youth through the avenue of football and has spent the past eleven years pursuing his passion. He is very excited to play a vital role in the development of young men as athletes and servant leaders for their communities.
Running Backs/Special Teams
Coach Jordan enters his 8th season coaching football, but his first at Ravenwood High School. He will coach running backs for the Raptors and will also coordinate Special Teams with the assistance of Coach Lowry. Coach Jordan grew up in the Franklin area and graduated from Page High School, where he played football for 4 seasons. He started coaching with the Franklin Cowboys, where he won 2 state titles and 2 runner up finishes. Coach Jordan then moved to Franklin Road Academy and coached in the middle school program with the Panthers. Last year, he returned to coach running backs at Page, and the 2016 team averaged over 100 yards rushing a game, and made the 2nd round of the TSSAA 4A playoffs.
Tight Ends/Special Teams
Alan Lowry is entering his second season with Ravenwood Football. He will be coaching Tight Ends and helping to coordinate Special Teams alongside Coach Jordan. A former college and NFL coach for over 25 years, Coach Lowry is best known as the "Architect of the Music City Miracle." Lowry is a native of Miami, Oklahoma, and currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife, Donna. The couple has two daughters, Marta (31) and Lindsay (27). Coach Lowry graduated from Irving High School ('69) in Irving, Texas before playing quarterback at The University of Texas ('73). Before Ravenwood, Coach Lowry spent 17 seasons with the Tennessee Titans and 14 as the Titans special teams coach.
The Titans produced 18 special teams touchdowns, including 14 kick returns for touchdowns. Lowry’s special teams at the Titans, have consistently ranked among the league leaders in both return yardage and return defense while placing a number of different players among the league leaders in return yardage, including Derrick Mason, Pacman Jones, Chris Carr and Marc Mariani.In the 1999 season, the Titans were propelled to the Super Bowl with a number of plays on special teams, including the "Music City Miracle" and Mason's 80-yard kick return for a touchdown in the 1999 AFC Championship Game. Lowry took over the Titans' special teams after coaching the club's wide receivers corps from 1997-98. He has 10 seasons of experience coaching special teams from his positions with Dallas (1982-85, ‘89), Tampa Bay (1991) and San Francisco (1992-95).
Matt Mercy is entering his first season with the Ravenwood Raptors as an Offensive Line Coach. Previously, Coach Mercy was a professional import player/coach in Europe for the Winterthur Warriors American Football Club (2013-2015) in Zurich, Switzerland. There, he served as Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach while simultaneously playing on the Offensive Line. Coach Mercy helped produce league leading rushers, receivers, and scorers amongst the European players while playing and coaching against former NFL/CFL/NCAA professional import players and coaches. Splitting time between Nashville and Europe, Coach Mercy was the Head JV Coach and Offensive Coordinator at Harding Academy (2013-2015), and was an Assistant Wrestling Coach at Franklin Road Academy (2012-2016). In 2016, he served as an Offensive/Defensive Strategist and Film Analyst at Hillsboro. As a native and current resident of Nashville, Coach Mercy played football at Franklin Road Academy (’07) and Tennessee Tech (’12), winning an OVC Championship in 2011.
Anthony Leonard is entering his third season with Ravenwood Football as an offensive line coach. Coach Leonard is a former offensive lineman for Middle Tennessee State University, and a former standout player for Manchester High School in Manchester, Georgia. He and his wife, Wanda have been married for 24 years and have three children (Anthony Jr, Andrew, and Ashari). While Coach Leonard was playing football, Wanda was a volleyball, basketball, and track athlete for the Blue Raiders. Anthony Jr and Andrew Leonard both played college football for Alabama State University and Cumberland University respectively. Andrew is a '11 graduate of RHS.
Ryan Heaston is entering his first season with the Ravenwood Raptors where he will be working with running backs and returners. Coach Heaston will also be assisting with Video and Media Coordination. Prior to his arrival at Ravenwood, Coach Heaston attended Missouri State University (’15) in Springfield, MO where he was a member of the football team. While there, Coach Heaston collected awards that included College Sports Journal Freshman All-American, CFPA National RB Performer of the week, College Sports Journal Freshmen of the week, 3-time Missouri State media player of the week, and a member of the Jerry Rice Award Watch list. Currently, Coach Heaston is pursuing a Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Tennessee State University. He is a native of Memphis, TN where he attended Cordova High School (’11).
Freshman Head Coach
Al Smith is a former All-Pro National Football League player, executive, author,
and speaker with over 25 years of leadership experience in sports, business,
broadcasting, and community service. Al credits his mother for instilling in him the
discipline, structure, and values to help him succeed. He continues to pass those
and other lessons along to help people achieve their own goals.
Al was a former executive with the Tennessee Titans, NFL Alumni Association
President, and former Director of Player Development at Vanderbilt University
and the Tennessee Titans organization in Nashville, Tennessee. Al serves on the
Board of Directors for the NFL Alumni Association and the American Cancer
Society, and has worked closely with multiple organizations including Big
Brothers Big Sisters, Bridges Domestic Violence Center, and the Ronald
McDonald House. Al is also an Ambassador with the Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative.
A standout collegiate defensive Player-of-the-Year award winner and team
leader, Al was inducted into the Utah State Athletic Hall of Fame and selected for
the State of Utah’s All-Century Team. In 1987, he was drafted by the Houston
Oilers. The Oilers finished 9-6 that year and were second in their division. Al’s
career in the NFL included Pro Bowl selections and First Team All-Pro Honors.
Today, Al lives in Nashville, is the current Vice-Chair of the National Board of
Directors for the NFL Alumni Association, works for the National Football League
as a Compliance Officer, and continues to work as Sports Analyst for WNSR
In his new book, Think Like a Pro - Act Like a Pro: Game-winning Strategies
to Achieve Results, Discipline and Success in Life and Business, Al shares
his personal experiences and the lessons he learned from his mentors. Included
are 17 lessons on what it takes to go from amateur to pro in all aspects of life.
Al has been invited to speak on topics such as teamwork, discipline, courage,
servitude, and leadership by organizations such as Transamerica Corporation,
Maximized Living, American Cancer Society, Utah State University, Vanderbilt
University among others.