No coach was in place for the 1922 season. At a Parent Teachers Association meeting on November 2, 1922, PTA presidetn Mrs. W. C. Rosenblatt made "an inspiring talk on some of the needs of the school especially emphasizing the lack of facilites for athletics, and showing how badly the football team needs a coach." Professor Duggins, principal at GHS, also made a plea for a coach. Duggins said the boys needed a coach not just for instruction in the game, but moral support, guidance, and restraint while away from home. GHS was the only inter-scholastic team without a coach that year. As the season was coming to an end, the suggestion was that focus be given to getting a coach for the next season.
Beasley played football at Battle Ground Academy and quarterback at Vanderbilt. He also played baseball with the Greeneville Burley Cubs in the Appalachian League.
T. W. Caskey, Jr., enlisted in the Navy right out of high school in 1917. After playing for Navy and receiving an honorable discharge, Caskey enrolled at Texas Christian University, where he helped coach, and then transferred to Milligan College as a junior. He was a stand-out player for Milligan. After a year at Greeneville, Caskey went to Follansbee High School in West Virginia.
Elton Sharpe was known as the King College Flash in his playing days. A native of Jamestown, New York, he enrolled at King College in Bristol in 1921. During his time as halfback, King rose to national recognition, in part due to a 206-9 win over Lenoir Rhyne. He passed away September 28, 1963, at age 62, while living in Florida.
Phil Sawyer grew up in Warrensburg and was a stand-out athlete at Milligan College. He was a pitcher for the Burley Cubs, Greeneville's Appalachian League baseball team from 1921-1923, where he helped lead them to a pennant. He also pitched for the Birmingham Barons in 1924, and with Knoxville Smokies from 1925-1927. He coached the Greeneville football team for just one season. Sawyer died in a car accident April 9, 1931, at age 29. He was footbal coach at Whitwell High School near Chattanooga at the time.
Grady Adkisson joined the GHS staff in 1928 as a history teacher and first football coach hired for that purpose, turning the program into consistent winners. Adkisson also was the boys’ and girls’ basketball coach. In 1936, a junior high was opened and Adkisson became the first head coach there. He then went to the University of Tennessee as Dean of Men.
Hackman was a standout at Montgomery Bell Academy and played under General Neyland at UT along with Ty Disney. After college, he took a coaching job at Lakeland HS, Florida. After GHS, Hackman became the Athletic Director at Roanoke College, Virginia, and coached baseball and basketball for nearly 35 years. He is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
Theodore Disney was a halfback at the Univeristy of Tennessee under General Neyland. He was named Greeneville's head coach on June 15, 1935. Disney accepted his first coaching job at Benham County High School in Middlesboro, Kentucky, in the fall of 1933 with Leonard Coffman as one of his players. Disney was persuaded to come to Greeneville by Dr. C. B. Laughlin, the chairman of the City Board of Education, and brought Coffman with him. Disney selected the 11 best defensive players to start on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, selected the best punter on the squad, and followed that with choosing the best fullback and tailback. The girls’ basketball team under Coach Disney’s direction was undefeated in 1936-37. Disney announced on May 2, 1937, that he would be leaving Greeneville to become the new head coach at Tusculum College, where he would replace Sam Doak. GHS Principal Frank Alexander said the school had no replacement in mind and just eliminate football all together.
Holt lettered three years under General Robert Neyland at the University of Tennessee at end. He was a teammate of Bobby Dodd and Beattie Feathers. In 1932 he was nnamed heac coach at Tellico Plains High School in Tennessee. He was named the new Greeneville Head Coach on September 1, 1937, and also taught history and mathematics. Holt resigned in May of 1940 to take the positin of director of physical education and athletics at Tusculum College. He coached the 1940 and 1941 teams. When Tusculum suspended football due to World War I, Holt went to Center College to coach in 1942. Holt was called to duty and resigned in October of 1942 to enter the Navy as a Lieutenant.
After his single season at Tusculum, Disney joined Dr. Laughlin at the hospital as a physical therapist . Disney returned to GHS and continued the winning tradition, with his 1942 football team undefeated. Because the GHS gym had been condemned in 1939, football was the only inter-scholastic sport at GHS from 1939 until the 1947-48 school year. Disney continued as coach of the football team until he retired after the 1954 season. Coach Disney returned as his assistant in 1957. Coach Disney passed away on November 10, 1962, at the age of 54.
The former UT standout, who is credited with inventing the dive over the goal play, was named head coach of GHS on April 27, 1955. Coffman moved to Greeneville from Kentucky with former Coach Ty Disney, and was a stand-out athlete. Coffman was an assistant coach for six years at Wyoming under former UT teammate Bowden Wyatt. He came to GHS from Hot Springs, NC., where he had served as principal. He left to become an administrator in the Greene County School system. He was inducted in the GHS Hall of Fame. Coach Coffman passed away on August 30, 2007.
Riley was a former East Tennessee State College athlete, playing both baseball and football, and was the starting quarterback his senior year in 1955. After graduation, he was an assistant coach at ETCS before returning to his hometown to coach at Lynch, Kentucky, for three seasons. While at Lynch, he was named the Southern Kentucky Coach of the Year in 1958 and coached his team to the Division A State Championship in Kentucky. Riley left to become the freshman coach at Vanderbilt University in 1966. He was also an assistant coach at Oklahoma State. He became the offensive line coach at UCLA in 1976 and then the head coach at ETSU in 1988 - 1992.
A native of Rockwood, Tennessee, Long coached Kingston to three great years during his six year tenure. He announced his resignation in April of 1967 to accept the principal's position at Kingston High School.
Wayne Anthony was a former Vanderbilt fullback and was an assistant coach under both Coaches Don Riley and Bill Long. He accepted the head coaching position upon Bill Long's resignation in April of 1967. Anthony left Greeneville to go to Jefferson City.
Roy Gregory was from Fulton, Mississippi, and was a 1968 graduate of UTC. After graduation, he became the defensive coordinator at Tennessee Military Academy and came to Greeneville for his first head coaching assignment. He left Greeneville to become the line coach at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. In 1991, Gregory became the head coach at Austin Peay until 1996, when he was anmed the school's assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Promotions. He received the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Joe Morrison Award, was named the 1991 Tennessee’s Football Coach of the Year and coached the Tennessee Football All-Stars.
Sorrells was a former coach at Greeneville Junior High (1959-1967), track coach and assistant football coach at GHS (1967-1969), head coach at West Henderson High in North Carolina (1969-1970), defensive coordinator at Carson-Newman College (1970-1972), football coach at Jefferson High School (1972-1975) and assistant football coach at Jefferson County High (1975-1977). Sorrells served as Inter-Mountain Conference president for 10 years. He was named TSSAA Athletic Director of the Year in 1991-92, served as both head coach (1994) and assistant coach (1993) in the Tennessee/Kentucky All-Star Football Classic, and was named the 1998 Rex Dockery State Prep Coach of the Year, and is a member of the TSSAA and GHS Halls of Fame.
Zeller was an All-American Lineman at the University of Idaho and was named all-Big Sky Conference in 1989. He came to Greeneville from Sequatchie County. Zeller had also been the defensive coordinator at Columbia Central High School. He was the head coach at Lenoir City from 2008-2013.
Steve McCurry came to Greeneville from the position of head football coach at A. C. Reynolds High School in Asheville, North Carolina. McCurry was a 1986 graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Physical Education. McCurry started at A. C. Reynolds High since 1998, first as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, during which time Reynolds won two state championships. McCurry was named head coach at A. C. Reynolds prior to the 2003 season. During his tenure there, the Rockets have a 36-13 overall record, winning three Northwestern Conference championships, three state playoff berths, and were 11-0 in the regular season in his last year there before losing in the third round of the playoffs. He returned to A. C. Reynolds where he was named Athletic Director in 2014.
Caine Ballard came to Greeneville as an assistant coach to Mike Zeller and was named head coach in 2009. His teams have never lost a conference game and have won three state championships. He holds the school record for winningest coach, and was the second quickest coach in the state of Tennessee to reach 100 wins. Ballard stepped down as the winningest coach in GHS history.
Hammonds is a 2004 graduate from Emory and Henry College with a bachelor in physical education and was a football captain for the Wasps during his college career. Coach Hammonds has been on staff with the Greene Devils since 2005, serving as both a position coach and defensive coordinator for 14 seasons. He also spent a season coaching at Gatlinburg-Pittman High School. Hammonds was a stand-out running back at Cocke County High School, and was 18th on the Rushing Leaders record for the IMCA conference brom 1977-2004, with 1,297 yards in 1997. Hammonds resigned in June of 2020.
The Greene Devils have a new leader in 2020, but it is a familiar face to the program. Eddie Spradlen was named the new head football coach at Greeneville High School.
Spradlen served as assistant coach for thirteen seasons as positions coach, special teams coordinator and defensive coordinator. As an assistant coach, Spradlen was apart of a staff that won four state championships and twelve conference championships.
Spradlen had served as coach since June 8. 2020. Coach Spradlen said about taking over as Greeneville head coach, "I'm honored to be able to continue to serve this community, our school, our student athletes and this football program in the capacity of head football coach. I look forward to continuing the legacy and culture of the Greene Devil football program that was built by the hard work and dedication of many Greene Devils. Together, through relentless effort, we will continue to be successful both on and off the field."
Spradlen graduated from Tusculum College in 2004 and was a four-year letterman in football and a member of the 2003 South Atlantic Conference championship team.
Copyright © 2020 GreenevilleFootball.com - All Rights Reserved.