McKissick named Coach of the Year
As originally published in the June 19, 2009 edition of the Summerville Journal Scene
Green Wave football coach and Athletic Director John McKissick has been honored by the National High School Coaches Association.
McKissick, who has coached 57 years at Summerville High School, has been named the association’s 2009 National High School Coach of the Year for football. He is one of only 20 coaches nationwide to receive the honor.
“All the credit has to go to all the coaches, players, school administrators and staff who have been such a big part of everything I’ve accomplished here,” McKissick said.
“But I’m honored to receive this recognition on behalf of the Green Wave fans and the Summerville community that has been so good to me over the years.”
This year's recipients are from 15 different states.
While they have different backgrounds, they exhibit a common theme: a strong dedication to supporting and developing high school student-athletes.
"The coaches we are honoring are outstanding examples for successful high school coaches in their sports," NHSCA Executive Director Bob Ferraro Jr. said.
"They place a high value on the teamwork skills their players learn for success in the classroom and on the field, and we are proud to be honoring them."
Association officials say McKissick, who will turn 83 in September, is the dean of high school football coaches. His list of awards is almost as long as his list of victories.
He is the nation's all-time leading winner, with a career record of 565-133-13. He became No. 1 on the all-time victory list in 1993 and won his 500th game in 2004.
His teams have won 10 state championships, and won state crowns in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and came within an eyelash of making it six championship decades by reaching the Class 4A Division 1 state title game in 2005 and 2007.
Last year's Green Wave team finished 9-2 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Named National High School Coach of the Year three times, McKissick was the recipient of the Power of Influence award from the American Football Coaches Association in 2003.
Inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations Hall of Fame in 1990, he was South Carolina's “Coach of the Three-Quarter Century” honoree by Coach and Athletic Director magazine in 2007.
However, the honor McKissick says he is most proud of is his induction into the South Carolina Hall of Fame.
Only three people have ever been inducted into the Hall due to accomplishments related to athletics and McKissick is one of them.
Other 2009 NHSCA Coach of the Year honorees are:
Girls Cross Country - Catherine Lempesis, Dutch Fork High School, Irmo, S.C.
Boys Cross Country - Mike Holman, Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis, Ind.
Baseball - Guy Anderson, Cordova High School, Rancho Cordova, Calif.
Softball - Larry Niemeyer, Jefferson High School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Volleyball - Jan Stanley, West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, N.C.
Field Hockey - Karen Klassner, Wyoming Seminary Upper School, Kingston, Pa.
Wrestling - Jeff Sweigard, Central Dauphin High School, Harrisburg, Pa.
Boys Basketball - Jack Curran, Archbishop Molloy High School, Briarwood, N.Y.
Girls Basketball - Brian Harrigan, Sacred Heart Cathedral High School, San Francisco, Calif.
Boys Golf - Jim Bennett, Grosse Ile High School, Grosse Ile, Mich.
Girls Golf - Ken Van Den Boom, Caledonia High School, Caledonia, Minn.
Boys Soccer - Craig Ewing, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park, Kan.
Girls Soccer - Julie Bergstrom, Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora, Ill.
Boys Swimming - Mike Torrey, Zeeland West High School, Zeeland, Mich.
Girls Swimming - Kent Kirchner, The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, Texas
Boys Tennis - Connie Jones, Greenwich High School, Greenwich, Conn.
Girls Tennis - Jeff Holman, Haddonfield Memorial High School, Haddonfield, N.J.
Boys Track and Field - Dennis McNulty, Warren Central High School, Indianapolis, Ind.
Girls Track and Field - Bill Stamper, Oak Ridge High School, Orlando, Fla.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.