Wednesday, February 15

Thank you Coach John McKissick

Summerville Head Football Coach John McKissick will not be roaming the sidelines in the Fall of 2012. He is retiring from his post after 60 years at it. McKissick was recently named the Don Shula NFL High School Football Coach of the Year Award winner, an award long overdue. McKissick has been already awarded and enshrined in various Halls of Fame, but it was nice to see the NFL honor him during Super Bowl week.
Indeed, a life like McKissicks is hard to measure. First, there is the longevity. For sixty years, McKissick coached Summerville High Football. He started when Harry Truman was in the White House. He coached Summerville through wars, economic downturns and 12 Presidents. Coach McKissick coached the game in the midst of great social changes. He coached Summerville as a small 1-A rural school through its growth to a suburban Big 16 school. He influenced literally thousands of people for the better.

Along the way McKissick won, and won a lot. The record speaks for itself. McKissick went 594-143-13 over his sixty years. No coach, at any level of football, has ever won so many games. McKissick also won ten state championships. He won state championships in five different decades, and led his team to the playoffs to contend for state championships in seven different decades. McKissick won at different divisions as Summerville grew. He won numerous region championships.

But, most importantly, John McKissick won with class. There was never a hint of scandal around his program. He spent sixty years teaching young folks that doing the right things and winning the right way pays off. For that, we at VUI, not only as lovers and coaches of the game of football, but as South Carolinians, say “thank you John McKissick.” You showed that a guy, who graduated from Kingstree High and Presbyterian College, can show the nation that doing the right things can win and can work.

We will miss Coach McKissick this Fall. But, Coach McKissick’s legacy will go on through the players and coaches that worked with him. This state should be proud that John McKissick is from it.
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