Kingsport and Dobyns Bennett high school is home to Graham Clark.
Clark, a 1973 DB graduate has patrolled the sidelines at his alma mater Dobyns Bennett for the last 36 years (25 as the head coach) and has announced his retirement from coaching effective May 31.
Going into the 2018 season, Clark was the longest tenured coach in Class 6A, but with his retirement, Farragut’s Eddie Courtney (22 years) will be the new longest tenured coach in 6A.
“Since the first time, I jumped over the fence at the football field when I was a little boy, no one has loved Dobyns Bennett football as much as I have,” Clark said.
“It’s been a honor to serve as the head coach here at DB, I have truly had a blast in my time here.”
Clark transformed the Indian program and the numbers are staggering, as Dobyns Bennett have made the playoffs all 25 seasons under him as he has a 252-71 record in Kingsport.
His overall coaching record is 271-74 as he was the head coach two seasons in Virginia at Chilhowie high school (VA) in 1980 and 1981 where he was 19-3 before he came back to Dobyns Bennett as an assistant in 1982.
“Coach Graham Clark exemplifies all that is great about being a leader, both on and off the field,” Kingsport City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Moorhouse said. “In addition to being a coach of the highest caliber, he is a man of character that has led the our program with great honor and integrity. He is a Hall-of-Famer in every sense of the word.”
Since taking over at DB as head coach in 1993, Clark has led the Indians to nine undefeated regular seasons (1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012), three trips to the semifinal round (1998, 2000 and 2002) and seven trips to the Quarterfinal round (1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2012).
“For a quarter century, Coach Clark has set the standard for excellence both as a coach and a person, for which we are forever grateful,” Dobyns-Bennett Principal Chris Hampton said. “He is a beloved leader of our football program, school, and community. He has positively touched the lives of hundreds of young men during his tenure as D-B head coach. His incredible legacy as the leader of the Tribe will be forever etched in the history of Dobyns-Bennett High School.”
For his successful tenure at Dobyns Bennett, Clark was elected to the Tennessee Football Coaches Association (TnFCA) Hall of Fame in 2016 and he is currently the President Emeritus of the TNFCA after serving as the President on two separate occasions from 1999-2005 and again in 2013-14.
The following 16 schools are looking for a new head coach: Cannon County, Chattanooga Central, Copper Basin, David Crockett, DCA, Dobyns Bennett, Houston, Humboldt, KIPP Academy, Kingsbury, Memphis East, Pickett County, Ooltewah, Sequatchie County, Sullivan North and Westwood
Contact Donovan at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew