Legendary Tennessee HS football coach retires after 40 seasons

Legendary Tennessee high school football coach Gary Rankin decided to hang up his whistle earlier this week after 40 seasons, 466 wins and 17 state championships.

Rankin, who ranks ninth all-time nationally in career wins, closed out his coaching career by winning seven straight state championships at Alcoa High School, where he spent 16 seasons. Rankin got his start as a head coach at Smith County High School from 1982-89 and coached at Riverdale High School from 1990-2005.

Rankin turned Alcoa into a state powerhouse during his tenure with the program. Alcoa won 13 championships in 16 seasons, as Rankin amassed a 215-16 record over that span. Alcoa went 27-2 in Rankin’s final two seasons at the helm and outscored opponents by a combined 1,024 points.

Rankin is a member of theTennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Hall of Fame and concludes his coaching career with a shining 466-78 record. Brian Nix, Rankin’s long-time defensive coordinator at Alcoa, will take over as the program’s next head coach.

“I’m proud of how much success we had and I’m proud we did it the right way,” Rankin told the Knox News after announcing his retirement. “We didn’t cut corners. We’ve never been investigated by the TSSAA that I know of. We always tried to treat kids with respect and make sure they left our program better people.”


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