Sports

Story published: 11-13-2012 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Green steps down as Crockett football coach


By Christopher Shields

After seven seasons at David Crockett High School, Head Football Coach Ken Green has decided to resign.

Green finishes as the longest tenured football coach in school history as well as the all-time leader in wins with a 19-51 overall record.

After finishing 2012 with a 2-8 record, Green decided it was time to step away from football.

“It was the most gut wrenching and toughest decision I have ever made in my entire life,” Green said. “I have been on the sidelines of some sort since 1968 and have been coaching since 1987.”

Green will remain with the school as an assistant principal.

His journey in football, oddly enough, began on the sidelines at Daniel Boone High School, as the son of the Blazers longest tenured coach, Kent Green.

Green played at Boone under his father’s guidance and eventually played in college at Emory and Henry, where he earned letters as a member of the football and baseball teams.

After graduating, Green entered into coaching, his first job at a college 30 minutes outside of Chicago. From there, he had stops coaching at several other colleges, including Moorhead State, Iowa Wesleyan, Union College, Middle Georgia and eventually Tusculum.

After coaching for three seasons with his father at Boone, Green began his first head coaching job in Union County in Georgia.

Eventually, though, Green says his wife wanted to return home to Northeast Tennessee, so he took a coaching job at Sullivan North High School.

In 2006, Green moved schools again, this time to take over the Crockett program, where the team had been 1-29 in 30 games previous to his arrival.

Green finished his first season with the Pioneers at 4-6.

“When I arrived at Crockett, some of those seniors had never won a football game,” Green said. “That first game against Sullivan Central, we won. For many of the kids that was their first high school win. It was one of my most memorable games I have coached.”

Green says several other games stick out in his mind during his time at Crockett, including that first season win against Sullivan East, a win over Greeneville and, of course, the win against South Greene this past season days after a school bus accident in Washington County involving multiple Crockett students.

“The kids were playing for more on that night,” Green said. “They were playing for their school, fellow classmates and for the community.”

Green says he will miss several aspects of football, but none more than the kids he has coached.

“I have always loved the x’s and o’s part of the game and putting together a game plan each week,” Green said. “Trying to get ready for the next opponent is always enjoyable, but I’ll miss the kids more than anything. That is why you coach — you want to make them better people. Anyone who is involved in sports knows that a coach really has an impact on kids.”

Green’s decision to step away from football was all about family.

“It was definitely tough to give it up,” said Green, who along with being a husband, is also a father of two, ages 7 and 10.

“I spend more time with other people’s kids then I do with my own. Coaching is tough on families, especially tough on a wife,” he said. “They go through all the victories and defeats as the coach does.”

Through all his years in coaching, one lesson he has learned sticks out above all the rest.

“We had a saying at David Crockett and it is so true. You play the next play. What that means is, maybe something doesn’t go your way, but it is important to concentrate on the next play,” he said. “That is much the same with life. Each loss hurt and each win I savored, but I have learned, especially at David Crockett, that you have to play the next play. Take one day at a time. That is a lesson I learned that has helped me out a lot.”

Green says his biggest regret during his time as Crockett football coach is the lack of a postseason berth.

“I wish we could have gotten into the playoffs,” he said. “We were so close to getting there that not doing so really hurt.”

With more free time, Green says he looks forward to enjoying his hobbies a little more.

“I have always been an avid fisherman. I love to fish and I want to see if those fish bite in the fall as much as they do in spring. So I plan on doing more of that,” he said. “I also look forward to going to some (University of Tennessee) games, and actually enjoying watching football. It will be fun to just be a football fan.”

Despite his decision to step down, Green says his future in the sport remains undetermined.

“I always say, if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans. You just never know what might happen,” he said. “My plan right now is just to let God lead me. I had a very enjoyable time at David Crockett and I am still a Pioneer.”