John McKissick, winningest H.S. football coach, retires after 63 years
After 63 years of coaching the Summerville (S.C.) High School football team to 621 victories and 10 state championships, John McKissick has announced his retirement ahead of the 2015 season, reports The Post and Courier of Charleston.
"My age is catching up with me,” the 89-year-old told The Post and Courier. “That’s a long life, and it has been a long time coaching football. A lot of people have asked me if I’m sure that this is what I want to do. I think I’m sure. I know it’s time. I haven’t been forced to do anything. I was told I could stay as long as I wanted to.”
McKissick coached his first season in 1952 and has the most wins of any coach in football on all levels.
The Green Wave won their last state title under McKissick in 1998, when the team went undefeated with a 15-0 record—one of five perfect seasons. Seven NFL players have come from McKissick's system, including A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Joe Call, McKissick's grandson and current offensive coordinator, is expected to be named the team's interim head coach.
“He’s been the face of Summerville for 63 years, and that legacy will carry on," Call told The Post and Courier. "Everything he built in this program is going to continue. Everybody on our staff either played for him for has been here long enough to know that there’s only one way to do things, and that’s the way he taught us.”
- Christopher Chavez