May 28, 2020

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John Mullinax Retires after 48 years of coaching

John Mullinax Retires after 48 years of coaching

After 39 years as a head coach and 48 total years of coaching high school football, John Mullinax is calling it a career.

Mullinax has retired after spending the last seven seasons at Tellico Plains.

“I have enjoyed every bit of my career and I have had a great career, it’s just time for me to go, I think they need some new blood here at Tellico,” Mullinax said.

Mullinax was 23-49 in his seven seasons at Tellico Plains leading the Bears to the Class 2A playoffs back in 2013 as they finished 7-4.

His overall coaching record is 220-192 as he started his head coaching career at Copper Basin in 1979 and spent five seasons there before moving to McMinn County where he spent 19 seasons (1984-2002) before going to Georgia to coach at Armuchee (GA) (2004-2010) and finally coming to Tellico Plains in 2012.

He led Copper Basin to their first playoff appearances in back to back years of 1982 and 1983 as the Cougars made the Class A Semifinals in 1983 and won a total of 19 games over those two seasons.

Mullinax’s biggest success was at McMinn County where he turned the Cherokee program into a force as he posted a 133-77 record and McMinn County made 11 playoff appearances which included three Quarterfinal rounds (AAA in 1987, 5A in 1997 and 2001).

“I had never seen anyone come in and work to build relationships with the community the way he did. He breathed fresh life into our football program and I was amazed at his work ethic,” Tellico Plains Athletic Director Shawn Yates said.

“He went out of his way to make sure every player felt like they were a part of the team.

When it came time for the football practices and season games, he showed a wealth of knowledge he had collected over the years. From top to bottom, he was always working to make the team better. It didn’t matter whether we came off a win or loss, he was ready to start working for the next week.

It has been a blessing to work with Coach Mullinax and his family. He has definitely made a positive impact on my life and career here at Tellico.”

There are currently six programs looking for a head coach they are: Boyd Buchanan, Cumberland County, East Hickman, Fayetteville, Sweetwater and Tellico Plains

Contact Donovan at and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew

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