Craig Clayton retires after five seasons at Hillsboro

Craig Clayton retires after five seasons at Hillsboro
Photo Credit To Hillsboro football used with permission

Craig Clayton spent over 30 years coaching and teaching in his home state of Kentucky and will be headed back to the Bluegrass state.

After 12 years of coaching in Tennessee including the last five seasons at Hillsboro, Clayton has resigned his football post at Hillsboro and will move back to Kentucky and enjoy retirement.

“It was a very bittersweet decision for me this morning when I told the players because these kids are the best I’ve ever coached,” Clayton said. “It’s time to get back home to Kentucky for me and my wife because we have three young grandkids that we want to be there for.”

Clayton, 66, has won at every head coaching stop posting a 273-129 record in 33 years as head coach with stops at Todd County (KY), Hopkinsville (KY), Franklin and Hillsboro.

Over the last five years at Hillsboro, the Burros were 43-21 which included a 2014 Class 5A runner up finish as Hillsboro went 14-1 and two additional Quarterfinal trips the last two years as well as the Burros made the playoffs all five seasons under Clayton.

“The kids at Hillsboro really bought in to what we were teaching as a scheme and a philosophy and that was very important,” Clayton said. “They did everything we asked of them and that’s why we won a lot of games and had success.”

Before coming to Hillsboro, Clayton also had success at Franklin where the Rebels made the playoffs in both 5A and 6A all seven years under Clayton (2005-2011) as they were 65-22 in his time there.

Franklin finished runner up in 5A in 2008 by going 13-2 and made two more Quarterfinal trips in 2007 in 5A and in 2009 in 6A.

Clayton had his biggest success at Hopkinsville (KY) where he coached for 19 years as he led the program to a 149-86 record that included runner up finishes as well as three Quarterfinal trips as well.

Although he is heading into retirement, Clayton would not rule out a return to the sideline if the right opportunity presented itself.

“You never say never but I’m excited about doing some other things and I do like to hunt and fish and play golf, so those are some things I’m looking forward to,” Clayton said.  

There are currently 13 programs looking for a head coach they are: Hillsboro, Whitwell, Clarksville Northeast, Rossview, Creek wood, Ripley, Grace Christian Academy, Glencliff, Carter, Unaka, ECS, Brainerd and Loretto.

Contact Donovan at donovans1222@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew

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