Nation’s winningest football coach announces retirement

June 18, 2015 / Football
John McKissick, the Summerville High School (S.C.) football coach who has more wins than any other coach in the sport, announced this week he is retiring.

Summerville football coach John McKissick speaks in 2005 at his induction into the South Carolina Hall of Fame.
Summerville football coach John McKissick speaks in 2005 at his induction into the South Carolina Hall of Fame.

McKissick has been head coach of the Green Wave for 63 seasons, leading the team to 10 state championships while compiling 621 victories along the way. No other coach at any level has more wins, and the next highest on the list is John T. Curtis Jr. (542) at River Ridge John Curtis Christian School in Louisiana, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

The Post and Courier published a nice article on McKissick’s announcement, including comments from South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. McKissick is considered a coaching legend in South Carolina, and nearly everyone acknowledges his shoes will be difficult to fill.

From the article:

“It’s real hard but I knew it was time,” said McKissick. “I feel good about what I have done in the last two hours. I feel good about everything. It’s emotional, but the worst thing anyone can do is to walk away bitter. There’s no way I’m bitter.”

Dorchester 2 superintendent Joe Pye says he and McKissick and discussed retirement each year for the last few years but admits it is hard to grasp that the day had finally come.

“I dreaded this day,” said Pye. “I had hoped I would gone before he was gone, but I understand his reasons for stepping down now. He has earned this opportunity. He’s a legend.

“He’s had a legacy with lots of people over 63 years, not just in Summerville but around this state and around the nation. The man is known everywhere. He’s very humble and I appreciate that he has kept the spotlight on Summerville High School.”

McKissick’s grandson has been the team’s offensive coordinator since 2007. McKissick said he would support him as the next coach, but he understands the decision won’t be up to him. The school plans to name an interim coach by the end of the week, and it’s also searching for a new athletic director, according to the article.

Click here to read the complete article.

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