Vic Grider has retired as head football coach at his Alma mater South Pittsburg.
“This memo is to announce that I have decided to retire at the end of the school year after 30 years of service as teacher, assistant principal, athletic director and head football coach at South Pittsburg High School. This was not an easy decision due to the fact that I have spent my entire career at one place,” Grider said.
“But there comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to make decisions that are best for your future. South Pittsburg is a special place and the football program is the standard in our area and I take great pride in the things that we accomplished and for the program that we were able to establish.”
Grider has a 233-55 overall record in his 22 seasons at South Pittsburg in two different tenures (1997-2012 and 2015-2020).
The Pirates won three Class 1A state titles under Grider (1999, 2007 and 2010) and finished runner up twice in 2011 and 2020.
South Pittsburg won 10 or more games 16 times under Grider’s leadership (1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020).
The Pirates finished 13-2 this season as they were upset by Fayetteville 20-14 to finish as the 1A runner up.
“It is impossible to adequately say how much Vic means to the football program at South Pittsburg High School. Obviously he is an incredible coach, winning several state championships and making South Pittsburgh High one of the elite football programs in the state. Winning state championships is amazing, but the mark of a great coach is how he treats his players. Year after year, players who have graduated come back to talk to Coach Grider about their lives after football and how they hope their kids can play for him some day. That is the impact Vic has had on those student-athletes’ lives. Vic has left a hole at SPHS. One that will be difficult to fill.” South Pittsburg principal Tim Bible said.
During his first tenure, Grider posted a 162-43 record and the Pirates won three state title with undefeated 15-0 records coming in 1999 and 2007.
He resigned and continued to be the school’s assistant principal and athletic director until he took the job back over in 2015.
“There are more amazing memories than I could ever begin to mention. So much of the credit goes to the friends that were my coaches and to the amazing young men who were the heart and soul of our program. I have no doubt that Pirate Football will continue to thrive and I will continue to be their number one fan and South Pittsburg will always be home,” Grider said.
Currently 10 schools in Brainerd, Cumberland Gap, Grainger, Grundy County, Jackson Central Merry, Lakeway Christian, Northwest, Ooltewah, South Pittsburg and Sycamore are looking for a head coach.
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